During this public health crisis, United Counseling Service is prepared to serve our clients with mental health, substance abuse, and intellectual and developmental disability needs.
The health of our consumers and employees is of the utmost importance to UCS. We have taken measures to minimize the risk of exposure of COVID-19 to our staff, clients and the community. Non-essential staff are working from home and we have implemented several measures to remain connected with our clients including offering telehealth and telephonic options as well as remote access to the Emergency Room for screening and evaluations.
We are currently working with Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) to develop a plan to keep people who are in mental health crisis out of the emergency department (Emergency Department (ED) and come directly to UCS for help. In an effort to keep children out of the ED, Family Emergency Services (FES) and Psychiatric Urgent Care for Kids (PUCK) hours have been increased to offer services 7 days a week from 8 am-8 pm. At this time, all services are offered remotely using telehealth or telephonic options. Clinical workers can speak with children and families via phone or video conference and aid parents in de-escalating children in crisis. In addition, if necessary, sensory tools and information packets can be dropped off to families to use with youth who are having issues self-regulating.
Additionally, our Early Childhood Services is providing childcare to a limited number of families who are essential workers at SVMC. Our group homes are fully staffed, and guidelines have been put in place to minimize risk, including no visitors and closely monitoring the health of staff and residents.
With the rapidly changing scene, we will keep the community current on changes to our services. The health of our clients, employees and community members is of the utmost importance to UCS. But know we are here to help and can be reached at 802.442.5491.
Executive Director, United Counseling Service