Dear patients and families,
During these unusual times with the COVID-19 virus, it’s important that we take appropriate precautions and decisive action to ensure our personal and community health and safety—and maintain a sense of calm and reasonable approach to the current and rapidly changing times.
I will maintain my medical psychiatric practice, as before—and will be seeing patients in the office uninterrupted at this time due to several factors, including the sensitive nature of psychiatric medical care and the acute increase in anxiety with the present pandemic situation. I feel it is imperative to be as available to my patients as possible during times of crisis—in both personal and global crisis—to offer support and counsel.
Please be assured that we will exercise “social distancing” and appropriate cleanliness in the office including the extensive and regular use of bleach cleaning of all contact hard surfaces. Additionally, my office situation is unique in that only one person/patient family is in my office at a time. I also have open windows to the outdoors with fresh air (not simply recirculated HVAC air from the building) and easy direct side building access to my individual office, which minimizes any contact with others.
If you have a FEVER, COUGH, or other signs or symptoms of illness PLEASE CONTACT ME FIRST PRIOR TO ARRIVAL FOR ANY APPOINTMENT.
During this time, please arrive for your appointment no earlier than 10 minutes prior to your appointment time, which will provide time for waiting room cleaning and not having more than one person/family in the waiting room at a time.
If you feel more comfortable, however, I am able to provide telemedicine/telepsychiatry appointments during your regularly scheduled appointment. Simply let me know that you’ll be calling in to the office line at your designated time and date. The phone number is 925-784-4000. I also have a telemedicine portal for video/online appointments--Just ask for the link by email and that will be sent to you prior to your appointment time.
I have an active telemedicine/telepsychiatry practice in place for my patients living in different parts of California—and have this in place also for local patients in emergency/natural disaster situations, i.e., earthquakes and the California fire risks.
The consent form for telemedicine/telepsychiatry for COVID-19 is available by email—please sign and return all pages of this note to the office if you’d like to have a telemedicine telepsychiatry appointment.
Please keep in mind that all practice functions and policies remain in place during this time, and any consent forms or lab order forms can be sent to you electronically via email. All refill requests are being monitored, as well.
And, if there is any concern or worry, please contact me—I am here for you and hope to provide a calm heart in worrisome times.
Warmly always, djk
To provide support in the response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), please refer to the follwing additional resources:
If you are a patient or family member or friend in need of immediate assistance:
Disaster Distress Helpline
Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 800-273-8255 or Chat with Lifeline
Text TALK to 741741
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have described the coronavirus, or COVID-19, as an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). You can read more about COVID-19 on the CDC’s “Situation Summary” page.
Infectious disease outbreaks such as COVID-19, as well as other public health events, can cause emotional distress and anxiety. Feeling anxious, confused, overwhelmed or powerless is common during an infectious disease outbreak, especially in the face of a virus with which the general public may be unfamiliar. These feelings of distress and anxiety can occur even if you are not at high risk of getting sick.
People that are feeling emotional distress related to COVID-19 can take actions to help support themselves and others.
Set a limit on media consumption, including social media, local or national news.
Stay active. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest. Stay hydrated and avoid excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol. Eat healthy foods when possible.
Connect with loved ones and others who may be experiencing stress about the outbreak. Talk about your feelings and enjoy conversation unrelated to the outbreak.
Get accurate health information from reputable sources. For health information about COVID-19, please contact the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov, your local healthcare provider, or your local 211 and 311 services, if available.
The national Disaster Distress Helplineis available to anyone experiencing emotional distress related to COVID-19. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to speak to a caring counselor.
If you’re experiencing emotional distress related to COVID-19, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or your local crisis line.
For coping tools and resources, visit the Lifeline website at suicidepreventionlifeline.org or Vibrant Emotional Health’s Safe Space at vibrant.org/safespace.
Reliable sources of information about COVID-19:
Other Helpful Resources to Support Your Mental and Emotional Wellbeing:
About Lifeline Crisis Centers
The accessible and free mental health crisis services that Lifeline crisis centers offer are especially vital during times of social distancing, and can be considered an essential service. Lifeline crisis centers may be used to overcome barriers of access to services caused by distance or unavailability of in-person mental health support, and can prevent unnecessary exposure during a pandemic. When individuals may be experiencing heightened anxiety, depression, and stress caused by infectious disease outbreaks and accompanying social-isolation measures, having access to trained and caring counselors may be critical for a community’s mental wellbeing.
To find your local crisis center and learn how you can support it, visit the Our Crisis Centers page.