Elizabeth Layton Center (ELC) is dedicated to providing comprehensive mental health and substance-use treatment services, especially in this time of the COVID-19 crisis, organization officials said.

In order to continue providing essential health care services in a manner safe for clients and staff, ELC has launched several changes, including “telehealth” service delivery and new office hours. Telehealth means services are delivered through remote means such as video chat, ELC officials said.

This type of service delivery was not possible for ELC previously. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government has relaxed HIPAA privacy rules so that behavioral health and other medical services can now be provided through phone and televideo technologies. Government officials recognize mental health and substance use treatment services are critical at this time, and are encouraging telehealth service strategies to promote safety, said Leslie Bjork, ELC executive director.

“This is great news, because behavioral health services have never been more important,” Bjork said. “This time of national crisis is stressful. Managing the COVID-related changes in routine, social isolation, family challenges, financial stressors and grief can be overwhelming for both adults and youth. ELC is here to help, and we’re happy to provide that help in formats that promote social distance and safety.”

Elizabeth Layton Center is now offering new-client admissions, therapy, medication management, case management and peer support services by telephone and televideo. To promote safety and social distancing, ELC encourages people with a telephone or internet connection to receive services through these safe telehealth methods. Face-to-face services are still available for those who require it.

Starting Monday, ELC office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Some telehealth service delivery may occur outside of these office hours, but public access to ELC offices will be limited to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Crisis services will continue to be available 24/7 by calling ELC during business hours, or after hours at 1-800-241-1266.

“You don’t have to suffer through this stressful time alone,” said Bjork. “Hope, compassion and safe behavioral health care are available through ELC.”

Elizabeth Layton Center is the designated Community Mental Health Center serving Franklin and Miami Counties.