COVID-19 Challenges and Response

COVID-19 Challenges and Response

Rising to the demands of an unprecedented global crisis.

For interns in our 2019-2020 class, COVID 19 presented significant challenges. Beginning March 17, 2020, all services were provided virtually. Pine Rest already had a growing teletherapy service and was able to swiftly and efficiently transition all outpatient services to an online telehealth format. Interns were able to continue providing outpatient therapy services to their patients. On-campus groups and consultation/assessment services were temporarily paused, although Pine Rest’s hospital units remained open.

After about two weeks, groups and consultation/assessment services resumed with the use of iPads and similar technology. Interns worked exclusively from home until June 2020, when on-campus assessment and group services resumed with limited capacity and substantial safety precautions.

Continuing to meet unprecedented demand for mental health services.

Current interns are still providing all outpatient therapy services via teletherapy. On-campus assessment services have gradually grown, but with continued safety precautions and capacity limits. Didactic training largely occurs via video, except when weather has allowed us to meet outdoors on our beautiful campus. Some group interventions have resumed in-person while others continue to occur via video.

As noted in the “Psychology Internship Program Application Procedures” section, we will not be offering on-campus open houses or interviews for the 2020-2021 application season.

As an organization, Pine Rest has already experienced an increase in the demand for our services. After an initial decrease in the spring, demand for our services has increased across our inpatient and outpatient systems—to levels above those prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

As the pandemic continues, we will continue to meet needs for psychotherapy, assessment of COVID-19’s neuropsychological impacts, assessment of learning challenges and student distress, psychiatric hospitalization—and much more. Overall, we expect an even greater need for our services than there has been in the past, along with opportunities to develop new ways to meet evolving community needs.