Who We Are
Upper Valley Cares (DBA: UVCares) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose goal is to make mental health care services readily available to adults, children, teens, couples, and families regardless of ability to pay.
At this time, our service area consists of the Upper Valley, which includes the communities of Leavenworth, Lake Wenatchee, Plain, Peshastin, Dryden and Blewitt (all those within Public Hospital District #1/Cascade School District).
Purpose of Organization
To overcome barriers related to emotional well-being by removing or diminishing the four main obstacles to mental health care.
UVCares uses a Skype-like technology of teletherapy to significantly improve access to providers, while also addressing other access-related issues such as the availability, cost, or time involved in transportation; and by providing more flexible hours of service.
UVCares' goal is to remove financial barriers to mental health services by offering financial support to all Upper Valley community members in need.
Personal Awareness That Counseling Can Be Helpful
UVCares believes that mental health and wellness are a vital part of quality of life and sets a goal of improving individual awareness of how and when mental health support may be of benefit.
Overcoming Social and Cultural Biases
UVCares understands that biases against seeking mental health support exist. UVCares will address these social and cultural biases with a multifaceted approach that includes sharing the vision of the importance that mental health plays in having a good quality of life.
How We Can Help
~ ~ ~
UVCares connects clients and providers through the use of teletherapy. Teletherapy is much like Skype and is an innovative method of providing mental health care, especially for those who may have difficulty with the cost or time involved in traveling to see a counselor in person. Teletherapy can also connect people with specialty services that may not be available in their area. By using teletherapy, the client will be able to receive personal and private therapy anywhere they like as long as they have Internet access and the use of a device with a camera and a microphone such as a cell phone, iPad, notebook or computer.
Note that UVC supports mental health counseling services, but is not involved in prescribing medications, which for some people can also be an important part of achieving the best results in mental health care. We encourage, but ultimately must leave it to your responsibility, to share your mental health situation and needs with a provider who is also knowledgeable about whether medications or other treatment(s) could also be an appropriate part of your mental health care.
Teletherapy is a mental health service that is provided by using the Internet so that clients and therapists do not have to be in the same place at the same time.
At UVCares, we use secure, encrypted, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing to ensure privacy. The audio/video link can be used with a PC, iPad, iPhone, or similar device. Through teletherapy, we try to connect you with the provider who is right for you no matter where you or the provider is located.
BENEFITS OF TELETHERAPY
- Research has indicated that teletherapy is as good as in-person therapy.
- Clients may have more freedom in choosing their own location and time for counseling sessions, however the day and time is ultimately based upon the counselor’s availability.
- UVCares is also planning on ways to assist if you do not have adequate internet access, or an electronic device available for therapy use.
- Complete privacy – No one else needs to know that you are receiving counseling services. Teens 13 years of age and older can also directly receive private services, under Washington state law.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM A TELETHERAPY SESSION
Teletherapy sessions are scheduled just like regular therapy appointments and last for 50 minutes.
Your session would be virtually the same as if it was being conducted in-person.
~ ~ ~
Listed below are frequently asked questions about our service. Even if you don’t have a specific question, consider reading all the way through as it includes important general information about our services. If you still have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at 509-300-1113!
What is teletherapy?
It is traditional therapy delivered in an innovative way via the Internet.
Is teletherapy via UVCares available to everyone?
At this point in time, services are available only to those that reside within the Cascade School District, which is also the same as Public Hospital District #1. Eventually, we intend to expand our services eastward towards Cashmere, Wenatchee, and East Wenatchee.
Will I see the therapist and will the therapist see me?
Yes. You will be able to fully interact with your therapist and be able to see and hear each other.
Can I really be anywhere I want to be during my counseling session such as in my home, in my bedroom etc.?
Yes, and we are very excited about how teletherapy works in this way. You will be able to participate in your counseling any place that you have an adequate internet connection, and the degree of privacy you desire.
What areas of specialties will be offered?
This is another exciting feature of teletherapy. As therapists are added to our network, we will eventually be able to offer therapeutic services in multiple areas of counseling, hopefully to include child, adolescent, and adult; marriage counseling, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, and much more.
What if I don't have insurance or I can't afford my copays or deductible?
From our perspective, what is most important is that finances are not a barrier to receiving mental health services. Our primary focus will be covering copays and deductibles for those requesting assistance. In certain circumstances, we may be able to pay for a course of therapy even for those without insurance, but this will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and depends on available funding.
UVCares will never demand payment for services or send you a bill. We do, however, ask our clients to consider contributing whatever amount they feel is possible and reasonably within their budget. There is no timeline for this. If at any point in the future you feel you are able to contribute, we will gratefully accept any amount and happily pay it forward. Such payment, however, will never be a factor in deciding who receives services.
Will you bill insurance?
If you have insurance, we request doing so, but it is not an absolute requirement. Billing insurance provides UVCares with an important source of revenue that helps us pay for therapy services and other costs of care. After your deductible is met, we can still help with copays as needed. However, if you have a compelling reason why you would not want your insurance billed, we do not have to do so, but please discuss this with your UVCares intake coordinator at (509) 300-1113.
Are the therapists qualified?
Yes. All therapists are fully screened, which includes having a current license, insurance, Washington State Department of Health compliance, and passing of criminal background checks.
UVCares works with therapists who are trained in providing what is known as evidence-based care, that is, therapy techniques that have been proven to help. Remember, however, that just as we are all different people, there are different types of therapy that may work better for one person than another. Sometimes this takes trying the different types to know which might be best for you. Your therapist should be able to help in this process, but if you still have questions or don’t feel there is the right fit, you can let us know by calling UVCares.
Is UVCares the only option for mental health services?
No. UVCares is one option available to residents of the Upper Valley, but there are multiple possibilities for mental health services that includes both clinics and private providers in Leavenworth, Wenatchee, and East Wenatchee. You will always be able to choose your mental health provider.
If I have a current mental health provider do I have to leave them?
Not necessarily. We believe a good therapeutic relationship between a client and their therapist is important and worth supporting, and in fact we encourage this if possible. Part of UVCares mission, however, is to help people who feel that issues like costs, transportation, availability, etc., are interfering with their care. In these situations, UVCares will have to work through teletherapy and those providers that have volunteered their time through our volunteer provider network. Hopefully, in this case, your provider will be part of our network.
Are there set hours/days that are available for counseling?
Therapists will generally have certain days and times available for counseling, but ultimately the days and times of your sessions will be set by agreement between you and your therapist.
Missed appointments. We understand that events may occasionally arise that prevent you from attending a counseling session. If you know ahead of time that there will be a conflict, please notify us as soon as you are aware, ideally at least 24-48 hours ahead of your appointment. If a problem comes up shortly before the session, still let us know. In fact, we would still like to hear from you even if you are only able to let us know after the session.
UVCares has limited resources and missed appointments affect everyone. If two appointments are missed, especially if no contact is made as to the reason, we may have to free up your therapist to see another patient. If this occurs, and you still wish to pursue therapy, we will re-enter you at the end of any existing waiting list. Thank you for your understanding and your help in this regard.
Are language services/interpreters available?
Not at this time, but UVCares hopes to add this service in the future.
Is UVCares appropriate to contact if I’m having a mental health emergency?
No. The main function of UVCares is to connect people with mental health providers, but we do not have emergency staffing or provide emergency care ourselves. If you feel you are having an emergency, you should call 911 or the Chelan County crisis line at 1-800-852-2923. Once you are established with a therapist, they should also discuss what to do in cases of emergency.
What do I need to do to start therapy?
If you feel that UVCares can help, contact us by calling 1-509-300-1113. You will either talk with a staff member or be able to leave a message with your call-back number. We will make every effort to return your call promptly, but as we have few staff members at this early time, it may be several hours to several days. We will make every effort to get back to you as soon as we are able. Once our staff talks with you, there will be some intake information to help UVCares to try to match you with the best provider for your situation that we have available at the time. We are hoping to not have a long waiting list, but there may be need for a list, especially in these early months. But congratulations, you will be taking the first step forward towards improving both your mental and overall health!
During and after therapy, we will request feedback about how UVCares and our providers are doing. We want to have a network of providers who are kind, skilled, and work well with their clients. We want to work to improve any areas that need it, and your input is essential. Thank you!