Skip to Main Content

Telemental Health Toolkit: Virtual care information at your fingertips

Telemental Health Toolkit: Virtual care information at your fingertips
Joy Lauerer and JoEllen Schimmels are the co-chairs of the Telemental Health Toolkit Task Force

July 2023

The boom of virtual care during the last few years may have been fueled by the pandemic, but even before 2019, nurses have adjusted where and even when they provide care. Virtual care, while reducing barriers to care, also has its own challenges, including patient confidentiality. But a new one-stop toolkit can help providers meet those challenges.

The new APNA Telemental Health Toolkit supplies much needed resources to support psychiatric-mental health nurses. The APNA Telemental Health Task Force, was charged by the APNA Board of Directors to make a categorized summation of key aspects of telemental health relevant to PMH nurses – a task it accomplished earlier this year. The task force was co-chaired by Joy Lauerer DNP, MSN, APRN, BC and JoEllen Schimmels DNP, RN, PMHNP-BC, CNE, FAAN and was comprised of APNA members with expertise.

“Our goal was to have the resources at your fingertips…”

“Our goal was to have the resources at your fingertips, so we added both links and materials that the group put together so people in need of information could easily access existing tools and resources,” Schimmels said. “This includes [materials] for patient information, teaching and precepting via telehealth, and information for nurses and other clinicians.”

There are 5 parts to the toolkit:

  • National Policy Considerations
  • Equity, Inclusion, and Access
  • Outcomes
  • Logistical Considerations
  • Education

“The best thing about the Telemental Health Toolkit is that it is organized into subtopics, making it easy to find topics,” Laurer said. “And the section on Equity, Inclusion, and Access contains important information about populations such as children or older adults and individuals who might have difficulty accessing mental health care.

“I encourage members just to go to the site and look at some of the links and resources around policies and new guidelines.”

Explore the APNA Telemental Health Toolkit

 Learn even more about providing care via telehealth with sessions during APNA 37th Annual Conference, including the session “Telepsychiatry: A Potential Key To Expanding Access to Mental Health Care in Underserved Communities.”

*           *           *

About APNA: The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is a national professional membership organization committed to the practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems, and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders. APNA’s membership is inclusive of all psychiatric-mental health registered nurses including associate degree, baccalaureate, advanced practice (comprised of clinical nurse specialists and psychiatric nurse practitioners), and nurse scientists and academicians (PhD). APNA serves as a resource for psychiatric-mental health nurses to engage in networking, education, and the dissemination of evidence. The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.