January 31, 2023 Update – The Public Health Emergency will end on May 11, 2023 resulting in the end of multiple federal flexibilities affecting health care delivery.
If you are a patient or family member or friend in need of immediate assistance:
- SAMHSA's Disaster Distress Helpline – Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Call 988 or Chat with Lifeline
- Physician Support Line – Call 1-888-409-0141
- Crisis Textline – Text TALK to 741741
- VA Veterans Crisis Line – Call 800-273-8255 or text 838255
With COVID-19 evolving rapidly across the world, APA's Committee on Psychiatric Dimensions of Disasters and the APA's Council on International Psychiatry compiled the following list of resources for psychiatrists. The resources cover not only the physical impact of the coronavirus, but on its potential mental health and psychosocial issues and responses. The resources also include a section on telepsychiatry, to prepare for the possibility of isolation and/or quarantine.
- APA Guidance Document: The Role of Psychiatrists in the Equitable Distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccine (.pdf)
- Members are encouraged to contact their local public health agency for guidance on the vaccine "rollout" plans. Vaccine distribution guidance is available here: CDC Vaccination Guidance
COVID-19 Psychiatric Practice Guidance
[UPDATED 01/18/22] APA is tracking guidance released by the Department of Health and Human Services and at the state level related to COVID-19 to assist psychiatrists with providing mental health and substance use services.
View recent changes and guidance impact telehealth, substance use disorders and treatment services, and inpatient psychiatric settings.
APA's Practice Management HelpLine
If you are an APA member, APA's Practice Management HelpLine is ready to assist you with your practice management needs. Help is available on how to manage the day-to-day operations of your practice in the midst of this pandemic, including telehealth, coding, documentation, reimbursement, contracting with managed care companies, Medicare, Medicaid, and more.
- Template for Patient Informed Consent for Return to In-Person Care (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Actions and Activities that a Healthcare Organization Can Take to Support Its Physician Workforce Well-being during COVID-19 and Beyond (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Reintegration of Healthcare Workers Following COVID-19 Service (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: The Role of Psychiatrists in the Equitable Distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccine (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Communicating with the Public during the COVID-19 Pandemic (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Cultivating Preparedness for Future Public Health Emergencies (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Health Equity and COVID-19 (.pdf)
- Coronavirus, Mental Health and Hispanics in the United States (.pdf)
- Coronavirus, Mental Health and Indigenous People in the United States (.pdf)
- Coronavirus, Mental Health and African Americans in the United States (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Moral Injury During the COVID-19 Pandemic (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: The Impact of COVID-19 on Incarcerated Persons with Mental Illness (.pdf)
- Support of the Permanent Expansion of Telehealth Regulations after COVID-19 (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Redeployment of Psychiatrists to Medicine During a Pandemic Crisis (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Admittance, Discharge of Psychiatric Patients During COVID-19 (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Opening Your Practice During COVID-19 (.pdf)
- COVID-19 Related Opinions of the APA Ethics Committee (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Psychiatrists Returning to Clinical Service (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Considerations for Healthcare Workers and Staff Exposed to COVID-19 Death and Dying (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Considerations for Family and Other Personal Losses Due to COVID-19-Related Death (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Electroconvulsive Therapy as an Essential Procedure (.pdf)
- Guidance Document: Use of Long-acting Injectables as a Clinically Necessary Treatment (.pdf)
- Patients With SMI in the Age of COVID-19: What Psychiatrists Need to Know – Psychiatric News
- Coronavirus and Mental Health: Taking Care of Ourselves During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
- Mitigating Risks for Contagion Stigma
- COVID-19 Pandemic Response Resources – Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)– World Health Organization
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – CDC
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – SAMHSA
- The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mental Health of African Americans – The webinar examined strategies and opportunities to improve the mental health of African Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, while also raising awareness and building trust on the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. Prominent leaders in their respective fields discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of African Americans.
- The Mental Health of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders: Coalition-Building and Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Rise of Xenophobia – The webinar examined strategies and opportunities to improve the mental health of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders during the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of xenophobia. Prominent leaders in their respective fields discussed policies, data, coalition-building, and resources to support and improve the safety and mental health of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders.
- The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mental Health of Latinas/os – Panelists examined strategies and opportunities to improve the mental health of Latinas/os during and post pandemic and raised awareness of the additional pandemic stressors facing this community such as unemployment, insurance benefits inequities, and social isolation.
- The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mental Health of Indigenous Communities – Panelists examined strategies and opportunities to improve the mental health of our Indigenous people during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The panelists discussed the concerns of the communities and highlight solutions incorporating cultural humility and respect. In addition, they will raise awareness of other unique pandemic stressors facing the Indigenous communities.
- Advancing the Use of Telehealth Through Education and Advocacy – Many psychiatrists have quickly transitioned to using telehealth and found it beneficial for certain patients. As states lift stay-at-home orders, and data shows COVID-19 continue to spread in some areas, the use of telehealth remains an important tool for patients to access mental health and substance use disorder treatment while keeping patients, clinicians, families, and communities safe through physical distancing. This APA webinar will focus on how to refine the use of telehealth to better serve your patients and highlight advocacy efforts at the federal and state levels to continue telehealth flexibilities.
- Serious Mental Illness and COVID-19: Tailoring ACT Teams, Group Homes, and Supportive Housing – This free town hall presentation, from a panel of SMI experts, answers questions about arising best practices being implemented by Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams, and supporting those in supportive housing or group homes.
- Telepsychiatry in the Era of COVID-19 – This free webinar from SMI Adviser (APA & SAMHSA) offers learners an overview of how to use telemental health and video visits in the changing landscape surrounding the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
- Managing the Mental Health Effects of COVID-19 – This free webinar from APA will outline how psychiatrists can support patients, communicate with family members and children, and be a resource to other providers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rules regarding the practice of telepsychiatry have changed quickly. CMS released guidance on March 17, 2020, that now allows patients to be seen via live videoconferencing in their homes, without having to travel to a qualifying "originating site" for Medicare telehealth encounters, regardless of geographic location.
To learn more about whether telepsychiatry may be a helpful option for your practice, and to access APA's collection of resources on telepsychiatry.
These resources intended to assist psychiatrists and the public in responding to COVID-19. APA will continue to update this page with resources developed by both APA and other organizations. Links to resources shared by other organizations are not intended to imply an endorsement of the organization.