During the current coronavirus outbreak our counselling support is being carried out via a video/telephone service. Information for our clients can be downloaded from here: Information for clients
If you are unable to download the document the text of the information can be seen below:
Plans for our service during the coronavirus outbreak.
At Youth Talk our number one priority is to keep all our service users, staff and counsellors safe. During the current coronavirus outbreak all our efforts are focused on how to continue to keep your counselling going over the coming weeks/months.
In order to keep the service running we have had to make a few changes and until further notice all counselling will be undertaken remotely via the telephone/video call.
Your counsellor or the Youth Talk admin team will talk to you about this change and this fact sheet has been written to help you with the transition to telephone/video meetings.
Connecting with your counsellor
We will be using ‘Zoom’ for counselling sessions during the current period of the coronavirus outbreak. Zoom is a free online meeting and video conferencing platform you can use on your computer or mobile device. It is easy and safe to use and lets you connect with people via your internet or phone connection. It’s similar to Skype, Google Hangouts, and more business-oriented tools such as GoToMeeting.
Zoom can be used for both audio and/or video calls and your counsellor will be talking to you about how you would prefer to meet with them going forwards. Zoom is easy to use and only you and your counsellor will be on the call.
If you are currently undertaking your counselling over the telephone your counsellor will talk to you about how and when we will move across to Zoom. Once we move to Zoom you will receive an email from Youth Talk confirming the regular time and day of your counselling session and a web meeting link. This will be the regular link you use to connect with your counsellor for each of your sessions.
JOINING YOUR ZOOM SESSION ON YOUR DESKTOP PC OR LAPTOP
- Please ensure you are connected to the internet/wifi on your device.
- At your meeting time simply click on the link or cut and paste the link into a web browser – please use either Google Chrome or Firefox as other browsers are less reliable when working with Zoom .
- Zoom will prompt you to download the application (if this is the first time you are using Zoom). Accept the prompts and follow instructions to install - Once you have installed, go back to the email and click on the meeting link.
- The zoom meeting will open in a window of its own and you will be held in the Youth Talk ‘waiting room’. Your counsellor will be notified when you arrive and will connect you into the call when they are ready.
- To turn your camera on, hover your mouse over the zoom window and tap the camera icon on the bottom left.
- To turn your audio on, hover your mouse over the zoom window and tap the microphone icon on the bottom left.
- NB To join with your computer or laptop, you will need to have a webcam and mic.
JOINING YOUR ZOOM SESSION WITH A PHONE OR TABLET
- Download the Zoom app from your App store.
- Ideally connect to the internet/wi-fi. If this is not possible then it is possible to use a 4G connection but we would recommend you use audio only as video is slow and patchy over a 4G connection.
- Open the email you have received from Youth Talk with the meeting link information. Click on the meeting invitation link and your device will open the meeting room.
- Once you connect via Zoom you will be held in the Youth Talk ‘waiting room’. Your counsellor will be notified when you arrive and will connect you into the call when they are ready.
- If using wi-fi and your camera is not showing, tap your device and tap the camera icon.
- If your audio is not working, tap your device to bring up the tools and tap the microphone icon.
- Have your device fully charged or have a charging device handy.
- If possible use headphones with a microphone attached (your mobile phone headphones are suitable) will produce additional privacy and a better experience.
If you have problems connecting your counsellor will wait for five minutes and if they do not hear from you will call you on the mobile number you have provided us with. Please note: this call will come from a withheld number so please do answer the call and your counsellor will do all they can to help get you connected.
Your counselling session will last the usual 50 minutes so please ensure the device you are using is either plugged in or has enough charge in the battery.
Keeping your counselling confidential is fundamental to our service and a critical part of supporting you. Ideally we will need you to find a private space that is quiet, safe and secure with no interruptions (maybe a home office space, bedroom, lounge etc). We are fully aware that for some this may not be appropriate and could be a significant challenge – particularly if you are having to self-isolate yourself with others as part of the coronavirus advice.
If finding a private room in your house is not a valid option then some other possibilities to consider are:
- -Can you find an alternative private space - we have heard of one story recently where someone sat in a car on the driveway of their home for their remote counselling session!
- -If you are one of the few young people who will still be at school is there a private space at school that would be appropriate?
- -Taking a walk or finding a safe space in the garden where you won’t be overheard by others.
When on the call
- -Your counsellor will be conducting your counselling session from a secure/safe space where no one will be able to hear any of the conversation they are having with you.
- -Your counsellor will talk you through a few things that will be important as part of keeping the session safe. These include:
- oA need for you to let your counsellor know where you are when you are taking the call from them
- oChecking you have enough battery power in your phone, tablet, laptop, PC etc for the session
- oAgreeing at the start of the call what will happen if the call is to lose signal or cut out during the session
- oAgreeing at the start of the session how you will end the call quickly if you feel that confidentiality could be broken
- -If possible, it will probably be easier/clearer to use earphones rather than to rely on the laptop/phone loudspeaker. This will also mean a greater level of confidentiality.
- -If the call fails at any point your counsellor will call you back on the mobile number you have provided.
Our clear aim is to return to our normal face to face service as soon as it is practical to do so. We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis and will be developing things further over the coming days and weeks and if anything is to change we will be back in contact again.
Thank you in advance for your perseverance. Please do let your counsellor know if you have any specific questions.
The Youth Talk Team