SOUTH ORANGE — Many adults strive to live healthy and productive lives. For some, an essential tool in the process is having access to counseling services. At JESPY House, a non-profit that supports adults with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, the range of services provided through its Clinical and Behavioral Supports department include a multitude of essential services for adults with disabilities as well as members of the community.

The wide-ranging services include learning coping skills, decreasing depression, improving social skills, crisis or behavioral intervention, psychiatric evaluations, and treatment planning.

Due to the current pandemic, the use of telehealth service (which enables long-distance, virtual clinical health care) has been a great benefit to clients and families. Sessions are held on a HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) video conferencing platform that ensure privacy and confidentiality.

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“Telehealth sessions also make it a lot easier to have flexibility with scheduling appointments,” says Sherry Scucci-Hamilton, LCSW and JESPY’s Clinical/Behavioral Supports Supervisor. “As counselors, it makes it easier to work with a full schedule of clients. It’s faster for people to get appointments as well.”

According to Kinga Lewinski, JESPY’s Clinical/Behavioral Supports Assistant Supervisor, who is also a licensed Associate Counselor, telehealth counseling also provides safety for clients in terms of not having to go out in inclement weather and offers personal protection related to COVID and social distancing precautions. It also caters to the specific needs that the pandemic has caused.

“The pandemic is wearing people down and everyone is struggling,” says Lewinski. “There is stress, anxiety, and feelings of isolation. These are things that everyone is dealing with.”

While individual sessions are the most requested, sessions for families have become increasingly important. “One of the biggest transitions that JESPY clients had to make during the early stages of the pandemic was moving back home with their families. Everyone has had to adjust,” explains Scucci-Hamilton. “Parents had their adult children moving home and they’re having to learn how to live together.  Some of the families haven’t lived together in 20 years.” As a result, families are opting for counseling in order to build healthier relationships.

Payment options for JESPY’s Clinical & Behavioral Supports services include private pay and certain insurance plans from several insurance companies. Prospective clients can check with their insurance agencies to determine eligibility and in-network providers. For additional information, email clinicalsupports@jespy.org.

JESPY’s clinical and behavioral team consists of licensed clinicians with specialized certifications. To learn more about JESPY House, which provides several support services, visit jespy.org.