FAQ – Psychology works for COVID-19: Psychologists giving back to front line service providers

(An Initiative of the Canadian Psychological Association)

1) What is the front-line service providers initiative?

The CPA is calling on all registered psychology practitioners to consider donating some of their time to provide psychological services to front line health care providers who may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed or distressed by being on the front lines of this COVID-19 health crisis. 

2) Where/how do I participate in the initiative to provide psychological services to health providers on the front line of COVID-19?

In order to participate, the registration form must first be completed.  The form can be found using the following URL: https://web2.cpa.ca/membersurveys/index.php/451688

3) Who is eligible to volunteer?

We can only list registered psychology practitioners. If you are a mental health provider other than a psychologist, we thank you sincerely for your interest but suggest you get in touch with the professional association that represents you (e.g. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, Canadian Psychiatric Association). 

Given the purpose of the initiative is to meet the needs of adult health workers, it would be important that the scope of practice of any psychology practitioner on the list include the competency to work with adults.

4) Can you volunteer as a doctoral student or a psychologist in the process of licensure?

If you are a doctoral student, or psychologist in the process of licensure, your supervisor, who must themselves be a registered psychology practitioner, must also sign on to the listing.

If your supervisor agrees to register, and you provide the service under their supervision, your name will be listed with an asterisk noting that you are working under the supervision of (supervisor’s name) You must inform your client that you are providing service under supervision and give them the name and coordinates of your supervisor. Of course you must abide by any other requirement for supervised practice in your jurisdiction.

5) What is expected from the psychology practitioner volunteers?

All services must be delivered virtually – by telephone or secure telemental health formats.

Psychologists who volunteer must be able to make first contact with the front-line provider within 24 hours.

How much service you provide, how many people you see, and for how long you see them are fully up to you.  Of course, you are bound to any professional practice standards or requirements of practice in the jurisdiction in which you are registered for practice.

If someone needs more or different care than you can provide, you can redirect the person to the roster so that they can select a different psychologist or make an alternate referral suggestion.

6) How long before the contact information of the psychologist will be up on the CPA page?

After the registration form is completed and submitted, we will contact the regulatory body of the province in which you practice, before accepting the application. Your contact information will appear on the CPA page about one business day after registration. If you no longer want to provide service, let us know and we will remove your name from the list as soon as possible.

7) When filling out the registration form, there are questions about the organization that I work for. What do I answer if I work in private practice?

For questions pertaining to the organization you’re affiliated with, choose “no” if you work in private practice.

8) Who can use the resource?

All front-line health care providers who may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed or distressed by being on the front lines of this health crisis are eligible to access this service. This most often includes nurses and nursing assistants, personal support workers, physicians, respiratory technicians and therapists, laboratory technicians, and radiation technicians.  There may be other workers providing care on the front lines, either in health settings or settings where health care is provided. These might include workers in shelters and group homes, correctional facilities or long-term care settings. Some amount of discretion on the part of the psychologist is expected as to who is eligible to be seen under this initiative. 

If you are a front-line health service provider, and would like to contact a psychologist, please refer to the following link to get a list of psychologists providing their service: https://cpa.ca/corona-virus/psychservices/