Staying Well During COVID-19

Staying Well During COVID-19

During Phase 2 of the Return-to-Campus plan, the LSU Student Health Center is open and committed to meeting the health and wellness needs of students with telehealth visits in the Medical Clinic, Mental Health Service, and Wellness and Health Promotion. In addition, in-person medical visits are available, by appointment only, after an initial virtual visit. 


What are Telehealth Services?

In response to COVID-19, the LSU Student Health Center will now support your health and wellness through remote appointments. These telehealth visits will allow our staff to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients at a distance using technology. To connect with your provider, you need only a computer or smartphone and access to WiFi. Services will continue for all units, including Medical Clinic, Mental Health Service, and Wellness and Health Promotion.

Tips for using Telehealth services:

  • It is important to be in a quiet, private space that is free from distraction (including cell phones and other devices) during your appointment.
  • Use a secure Internet connection rather than public/free WiFi.
  • Be on time. If you need to cancel or change your tele-appointment, please call in advance.
  • Prepare for a back-up plan to restart the session or reschedule in the event of technical problems.
  • You can designate a phone number where you may be reached.

How to access Telehealth Services?

  • Medical Clinic, Primary Care and Gynecology (GYN) - Call 225-578-6716 or send a secure message to a provider via the Patient Portal*.
  • Mental Health Service - Call 225-578-8774.
  • Wellness and Health Promotion - Call 225-578-6716 or send a secure message to a provider via the Patient Portal*.
    • During this step, a staff member from the Student Health Center will contact you to set an appointment time.
    • *If you have never seen a provider, send a message to *New**Questions* using the Patient Portal

  1. Once logged into Microsoft Teams, use your web browser to visit the Patient Portal, www.lsu.edu/shcportal.
  2. Log into the Patient Portal using your MyLSU username and password.
  3. Under Upcoming Appointments, there will be an option to “check-in.” Read and digitally sign any required forms.
  4. Once you check-in, your provider will be notified you are ready for your session.
  5. Wait for your provider to initiate the video call.

Telehealth Services FAQs:

Telehealth connects a provider and student who are not in the same physical location by using interactive technologies (audio, video, or other electronic communications).

Telehealth services facilitate convenient access to treatment to supplement traditional service delivery or to maintain services when conditions limit availability of traditional service delivery. For example, students can schedule a virtual appointment with their provider while abiding by current national recommendations for “social distancing” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telehealth requires use of online video-conferencing technology which introduces confidentiality issues that are different from in-person sessions. Services offered through digital video-conferencing are protected to the greatest extent possible within the limits of digital and physical environments. That is, both provider and student should take responsibility to use secure internet connections and choose spaces that are private. It is also possible that relying on technology for service delivery may result in disruptions due to technical difficulties and thus a back-up plan should be discussed. Telehealth services are not suitable for students in crisis who are directed to the emergency resources; they should seek emergency care.

The Student Health Center offers Telehealth services using Microsoft Teams, a HIPPA-compliant video-conferencing platform, to deliver audio/video telehealth services. The interactive technologies used for Telehealth incorporate network and software security protocols to protect the confidentiality of student health information transmitted electronically.

Information exchanged during telehealth sessions will remain strictly confidential except for material shared with other Student Health Center clinicians to enhance your care and under the following circumstances in accordance with state law:

  1. You sign a written release of information indicating informed consent of such release,
  2. You express intent to harm yourself or someone else,
  3. There is a reasonable suspicion of abuse/neglect against a minor child, elderly person (60 or older), or a dependent adult, or
  4. A court order is received directing the disclosure of information.

Telemental Health Services FAQs:

Recent and ongoing reports about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), travel restrictions, concerns for our own health as well as the health of loved ones may contribute to increased mental and emotional health distress. In response to COVID-19, Mental Health Service (MHS) will be utilizing telemental health (TMH) therapy sessions. TMH therapy sessions will be brief 30-minute sessions to discuss current concerns, coping strategies to address those concerns, and when appropriate connect students with other local resources to address their needs.

For psychiatric medication refills, please contact your pharmacy and request they electronically request a refill. Refill request will be handled Monday through Friday between 8 am and 5 pm. Please allow for 24-48 hours to complete the request. If there are any problems, please call our office at 225-578-8774.

If you need to change pharmacies and need to transfer your existing refills, please call your pharmacy to initiate the transfer.

For psychiatric emergencies, please call 911 or present to the nearest emergency department.

If you are presently in crisis, the following resources are available:

  • ThePhone offers phone, text and chat options for 24/7 mental health support and crisis assessment.
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ to chat via message.
  • Our Lady of the Lake COPE Team can assess immediate safety and determine if higher level of care, including psychiatric hospitalization, may be needed.
  • Call authorities (9-1-1) regarding immediate safety risks.

As a safety precaution, students participating in Telemental Health will be asked to identify an emergency contact in close proximity to their physical location.

Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists

Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners

Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners

The Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) Board of Examiners issued the following statement on 3/14/2020 regarding the temporarily lifted restrictions for practice of teletherapy:

"Louisiana LPC Board Teletherapy Regulations Rescinded Effective Immediately. In accordance with the Public Health Emergency Powers Act, La. R.S. 29:760, et seq., the Governor of the State of Louisiana has emergency powers to deal with public health. In response to this announcement, the LPC Board called an emergency meeting and rescinded the teletherapy regulation to prepare for public health needs. As we all continue to monitor the situation very closely, the board will continue to work to best serve the needs of the public. Furthermore, the emails and additional concerns board staff received over the last few days will be reviewed and discussed at the next board meeting, Friday, March 20th, 2020. Additional information will be released after the meeting. Thank you for your service and commitment to the citizens of Louisiana."


Support Resources During COVID-19

LSU Food Pantry

The LSU Food Pantry is now offering limited food service. To prioritize the safety of students and staff, any student interested in receiving food should fill out the LSU Food Pantry Online Request Form with preferences for food items and choose a pick up time on Wednesdays or Fridays.

The form is open to accept requests each week from noon on Tuesday until noon on Thursday. Please visit the website at lsu.edu/foodpantry to complete the request form. For questions, please contact the LSU Food Pantry at foodpantry@lsu.edu or 225-578-8000.


Additional Resources:

Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank

United Way

  • If you are in need of help outside of food bank hours, you can contact Capital Area United Way by dialing 211 or 225-383-2643. 211 is a free, confidential service that helps people across North America find the local resources they need. 
  • Visit www.cauw.org/ or email info@cauw.org for more information

St. Vincent De Paul Shelter and Soup Kitchen

  • 220 St. Vincent de Paul Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70802 | 225-383-7837 | www.svdpbr.org
  • Hours of Operation: Monday – Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Serves a hot, nutritious meal every day of the year as well as a brown bag supper Monday through Friday. During COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the shelter, the dining room remains open by passing out meals through the walk-up window, the pharmacy continues to fill prescriptions, and stores continue to help people in need. However, this may change depending on the guidance received from local, state or federal agencies.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - formerly Food Stamp Program

  • At this time, there is no option for disaster SNAP as the government has not signed into effect emergency SNAP. However, if you are not already a SNAP recipient and have a food need, we encourage you to apply for benefits online. There’s no need to visit a DCFS office! You can apply online at www.dcfs.la.gov/getSNAP.

  • For more information: Text GETSNAP to 898211  |  Visit www.dcfs.la.gov/getSNAP  |  Email LAHelp  |  Call 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578) 

Louisiana Women, Infant, Children (WIC) Program (For those who are pregnant or with children under 5)

  • www.louisianaWIC.org

  • Louisiana WIC has enacted their disaster plan. Under this plan, most WIC clinics are still open. Due to current COVID-19 precautions, LA WIC clinics are allowing participants and/or caregivers to stay in their vehicles for appointments. Your information will be collected over the phone and a member of the staff will come out to your vehicle. Please bring your ID, WIC EBT card and all other required documentation.

  • Important: If you or anyone in your family have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, please call your WIC clinic and reschedule your appointment.

  • WIC-approved grocery stores are restocking as quickly as possible. Please check the website for WIC-approved items, select store hours (COVID-19 Select Retailers Hours of Operation), and new clinic closures.

Case Manager, LSU Student Health Center

  • Contact the Case Manager directly via secure message in the Patient Portal, www.lsu.edu/shc, or by calling 225-578-6716 for assistance obtaining health insurance.

  • If you are unemployed and lost your health insurance benefits, you may qualify for health insurance government assistance through Louisiana Medicaid or the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can always apply for Medicaid online at MyMedicaid.la.gov. You also can turn in information or documents by uploading them to your online account.

  • If you are not currently enrolled in coverage or lost your benefits, you can also see if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can access the Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov.

Louisiana Workforce Commission Unemployment Benefits

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) has released information for workers in Louisiana who have been impacted by COVID-19.

  • Your work hours have been reduced because of lack of work due to Coronavirus.
  • Your workplace closes temporarily, and you are not being compensated.

  • You have been instructed not to go to work, and you are not being paid while at home.

  • If any of these situations apply to you, you can file a claim for unemployment insurance by visiting www.louisianaworks.net/hire or calling 866-783-5567. Be sure to answer “yes” to the question, “Are you filing for Unemployment Insurance benefits for reasons related to COVID-19?” This will provide needed information to the LWC to help process your claim.

  • Find more information at: www.laworks.net/Downloads/PR/COVID_19_Information.pdf. In order to file a claim, please visit www.louisianaworks.net/hire or by calling the LWC Claim Center at 866-783-5567.


Unemployment Insurance for Certain Types of LSU Employees

Announcement dispersed by LSU Strategic Communications 03/19/2020

The state of Louisiana has implemented new measures concerning the special circumstance of COVID-19 as it relates to unemployment insurance. If your hours have been reduced due to COVID-19 or you are unable to work remotely due to the nature of your position, you MAY be eligible for unemployment insurance. Transient, WAEs, and student workers or other staff who are otherwise not eligible for leave are eligible to apply for unemployment insurance. Please note these considerations do not apply to employees who are working remotely, on paid leave, or continuing to be paid for a full 8-hour work day.


Bartender Emergency Assistance Program

Some individuals may have been working as bartenders part-time to help with finances. Since all bars have shut down due to the response of COVID-19, this poses a hardship for those out of work. There is a Bartender Emergency Assistance Program that is providing emergency funds and grants due to economic hardship. For eligibility and application please visit: https://www.usbgfoundation.org/beap.

Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program
This program is designed to provide rental assistance to Louisiana residents facing financial hardships as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a first-come first-served program, so it is encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Eligible applicants will receive assistance for rent in a one-time, lump-sum payment made directly to property owners or management companies. The total assistance amount will depend on income eligibility. For more information regarding application and eligibility, visit: https://www.lhc.la.gov/larenthelp.

Utility Services
Some area power companies (ex: Entergy, Slemco, Cleco) are assisting their customers during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus by temporarily suspending service disconnects on customer accounts. It is encouraged that if a customer has the means to pay, to continue paying their bill. If you need additional assistance with your account, contact your respective utility service provider to make arrangements with payments.

 

General Resources:

Active Minds Mental Health Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic - Resources for Young Adults, Parents and Communities - https://www.activeminds.org/about-mental-health/be-there/coronavirus/

American Psychological Association (APA)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Disaster Distress Helpline - A national hotline that provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any emergency. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service.

 JED Foundation:

Mental Health America (MHA):

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

SilverCloud Health

  • SilverCloud is an online mental health platform program based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that can assist with management of stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and sleep. SilverCloud Health is sponsored by Gallagher Student Health and is available FREE to all LSU students through end of August 2020.
  • Students interested can visit: gsh.silvercloudhealth.com/signup/ and select “Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge” from the dropdown menu. Note: students must use lsu.edu email address in order to sign up.
  • SilverCloud provides users with:
    • Interactive modules focused on mental health symptoms.
    • Education on mental health concerns such as: anxiety, depression, and stress.
    • Activities such as journaling, quizzes, and mindfulness exercises designed to help improve well-being.
    • Goal-setting and screening tools to track progress and improvement.
    • Contacts and resources for urgent and crisis assistance. 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA.gov) Publications


Other support resources:


Other Free Activities To Keep The Mind And Body Active:


COVID-19 in the Black Community:

COVID-19 has impacted all communities, but the burden of illness and death within the Black community has been disproportionate for various reasons. The Mental Health Service staff in the Student Health Center is here to help with the impact of COVID-19, including loss, anxiety, depression, and feelings of isolation.