Aotearoa New Zealand Government COVID-19 Information Website here
Psychotherapists throughout Aotearoa New Zealand are managing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to support the wellbeing of their clients.
Aotearoa New Zealand is now on Alert Level 2 – Reduce.
What does this mean for psychotherapists?
Alert Level 2 focuses on being vigilant with physical distancing, contact tracing, and maintaining hygiene standards.
This means virtual, non-contact consultations are preferred - please exercise extra caution when treating vulnerable groups. However, businesses can open if they are able to do so safely.
This means that psychotherapists will be able to meet with clients kanohi ki te kanohi. Any kanohi ki te kanohi appointments require psychotherapists to ensure they have in place:
* screening for COVID-19 symptoms prior to kanohi ki te kanohi appointments (see the Ministry of Health's website these questions are being updated)
* physical distancing measures (1 meter in controlled environments)
* infection control measures including PPE where required (it is suggested that masks should be worn in situations where physical distancing is not possible), and
* continue to keep accurate clinical notes to aid contact tracing measures.
Follow the Governments advice about face-masks.
Contact tracing reminder
Contact tracing is a critical tool.
All health practitioners engaging in kanohi ki te kanohi mahi (following careful decision-making processes) are required to keep clear records for the purposes of contact tracing.
In addition to good contact tracing, continue to practise good infection prevention/control procedures and use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Unique QR codes to assist tracing
Health practitioners including psychotherapists are required by the Ministry of Health to create a unique QR code for their business. The Ministry of Health is also encouraging use of the COVID-19 tracer app to record movements here
If you have not already you may wish to download the Āwhina app here, also run by the Ministry of Health. This provides updates and resources for healthcare providers.
If you have not already and wish to volunteer to the Ministry of Health to join the surge workforce (health professionals who are available to provide services if needed) you can sign up here
Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand's best practice guideline here
ACC Telepsychology-treatment-guidelines here
Free online resilience courses for clinicians:
Cochrane Review on psychological interventions to foster resilience in healthcare professionals