How Does VTMHI Work?

The Virginia Telemental Health Initiative (VTMHI) matches volunteer pre-licensed mental health providers (pre-LMHPs) with clinical supervisors and participating free and charitable clinics, all to expand mental health services throughout the Commonwealth.

Who Are Free and Charitable Clinic Patients and What Does the Intake Process Look Like for Them?

Most patients of the clinics are adults between 18-64 of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. They earn less than 250% of federal poverty level (FPL) and often are un- or under-insured. While some clinics now accept Medicaid, not all patients qualify. VTMHI will not take Medicaid during the early phases of the program. 

Most patients have a chronic illness, such as hypertension, diabetes, or depression, and have additional social determinants of health needs. 

For many, English is not their first language, and they maintain strong protective factors such as individual resilience, family, and community support.

Intake process for those served by VTMHI 

  1. A person in need of mental health services contacts their local free and charitable clinic and completes necessary intake forms that will help determine the best solution for the patient. If a patient is new and contacting a clinic for the first time, the clinic will first determine if they are eligible for clinic services. 
  2. If VMTHI is a fit for the patient’s needs, they will be paired with a volunteer pre-LMHP that can best meet the needs of the patient. The patient and provider will determine a cadence of appointments that best meets the need of the patient. 
  3. Volunteer pre-LMHPs will work with their clinical supervisor and the clinic to complete paperwork, notes, and documentation, allowing the clinic to serve as the patient’s medical home if they are receiving additional clinic services. 

Who Makes It Happen?

VTMHI is a network consisting of the Virginia Telehealth Network (VTN), the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (VAFCC), the University of Virginia Karen S. Rheuban Center for Telehealth (UVA Center for Telehealth), and the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center (MATRC); clinical supervisors; pre-LMHP volunteers; and free and charitable clinics – all working in tandem to provide telehealth care to free and charitable clinic patients.

The number of combined mental health visits is expected to grow by almost 65% with VTNHI assistance.
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