New pandemic helpline: Free teletherapy for people with IDD and their staff

This has not been an easy year for any of us, and the presence of COVID-19 can be felt in every aspect of our lives. For people with developmental disabilities and those who care for them during this pandemic, feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety are commonplace. COVID-19 affects us far more than just the physical symptoms – the mental health impact of this pandemic is enormous, and according to recent research, individuals with developmental disabilities are dealing with more COVID-19 mental and emotional health complications than nearly any other population.

As a result of this, The Arc of California teamed up with the Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare, and together they just launched a new hotline designed specifically to address this need. Called “Project Connect,” this teletherapy service aims to provide support, referrals, and guidance to those with developmental disabilities and their staff. It is operated by social work graduate students 24-hours per day, and is entirely free.

To learn more about Project Connect, please refer to the following article. You may also reach the number directly at 888-847-3209.

Troubleshooting the participant half of telehealth connections

At GSDC, we have made it our focus to maximize participant and staff safety through social distancing, mandatory face masking for staff, regular disinfection of surfaces according to CDC protocols, and following all local and national guidelines during this pandemic. Through our telehealth services, we are able to continue to provide the same quality of therapeutic assistance that our participants have come to expect from us in person.

However, technology doesn’t always play nicely, and that is especially true when two parties need their internet connections to get along. If you have experienced telehealth difficulties and it’s due to a connection issue on your end, we want to help in whatever way we can.

We have created the following short guide as a starting place for troubleshooting potential connection problems. Additionally, please feel free to reach out to our IT staff if you’re experiencing telehealth connection issues beyond the scope of this guide.

Click here for a printable PDF copy of this guide (4.5″ x 6″)