William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
Safe Mental Health Care During the COVID Outbreak
MADISON, Wis. — May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Now more than ever, the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital is committed to providing high-quality mental health care while keeping Veterans safe from exposure to the coronavirus.
The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital supports social distancing to minimize risk and asks that Veterans use the VA’s online resources for routine or non-urgent mental health care and questions.
“We are providing excellent clinical care while honoring current physical distancing guidelines,” said John Rohrer, the hospital Director. “We continue to offer on-site, in -person care for urgent needs. For routine care, we are able to leverage VA’s virtual care tools to make sure that our patients and staff are as safe as possible during this time.”
VA offers Veterans a variety of at-home resources, including the following:
Telephone or Video Appointments – Veterans should maintain their existing mental health appointments — and may receive care at home — using VA Video Connect on their computers, smartphones, or tablets. Our goal is to maintain ongoing care in this time of distress, not to delay care or postpone it to a future date. To set up telephone or video appointments, Veterans can send their health care provider a secure message on My HealtheVet by visiting myhealth.va.gov. Veterans can learn more about VA Video Connect at mobile.va.gov/app/va-video-connect.
Prescription Refills and Safety – Veterans should continue taking all medications as prescribed and talk to their mental health provider if they have any concerns. Veterans may request prescription refills and order shipments of medications to their homes using My HealtheVet or the Rx Refill mobile app, which can be downloaded at mobile.va.gov/app/rx-refill. VA’s Safe Home Environment handout provides information on safely storing medications in the home.
Mental Health Information and Resources – VA provides information on ways for Veterans and their families to maintain and enhance their mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak. Information about managing stress and anxiety, as well as mental health resources, are available at www.mentalhealth.va.gov/coronavirus/resources.
Mobile – Veterans can access the COVID Coach mobile app on IOS and Android. The COVID Coach app was created for everyone, including Veterans and Servicemembers, to support self-care and overall mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Look up COVID Coach on your mobile store.
Text Message Reminders – Veterans can use Annie’s Coronavirus Precautions protocol to send automated text messages with information about COVID-19. This application helps Veterans monitor their symptoms and can assist those who need to contact their VA facility for care. Veterans may enroll in the app at mobile.va.gov/annie.
Mental Health Month – This May, VA is observing Mental Health Month by emphasizing that “Now Is the Time.” Even during the coronavirus outbreak, Veterans can still prioritize their mental health. Veterans and their families can visit www.MakeTheConnection.net/MHM to learn more about mental health resources and hear stories of recovery from other Veterans.
Whole Health – Madison provides COVID specific resources including phone and video support groups covering a range of relevant topics, as well as videos that are posted on social media. If you are interested in Whole Health phone-based options, please request a whole health consult from your provider via secure message or call 608-284-6360 ext. 12537. Also, check out this VA link for mobile and online resources you participate in at home: www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/veteran-resources/MobileApps-OnlineTools.asp
If you find yourself struggling during this time, support is available. Please reach out to the Madison Mental Health Dept. at 608-280-7084 or the National Veterans Crisis at 1800-273-8255 and press 1.
For more information on ways for Veterans to maintain and enhance their mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov/coronavirus.For more information about the Madison VA Hospital, visit www.madison.va.gov or www.facebook.com/MadisonVAHospital.