Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I Practice Online?
What is Telemental Health?
Telemental health is the practice of behavioral health using a telecommunications system to provide clinical services, professional training, administrative and other services at geographically separate sites. Service can be delivered in “real time” using interactive video conferencing, or through “store and forward” which relies on the transmission of images and data for review at later time. Telemental health can also involve email, text messaging and a wide range of other software applications to facilitate access and data transfer. Devices can ran he from desktop computers on carts in hospital settings to smart devices such as tablets and smartphones. Telemental health can also include storage services on the “cloud” and everything in between.
How can I practice both legally and ethically online?
The first step in any new area of behavioral health practice, mandated by all ethical codes, is for you to be able to demonstrate “competency.” You establish competency by training with a credentialed institution. At the TeleMental Health Institute (TMHI), we not only are approved by all the leading United States mental health professional associations for continuing education, but are recognized as the world leaders in telemental health training and consultation. We make your start-up processes easy, by being available online whenever you are ready, and accessible with any digital or desktop device. Our evidence-based training provides the foundation you need to avoid common pitfalls and get started with confidence. Our telemental health consultation, staffing, credentialing, employment and other support services are available weekdays, during business hours.
Can I practice across state lines?
Simply stated, yes. For details about how to do so legally and ethically, we recommend the 1-hour webinar, Licensing and Practicing Over State and Provincial Lines: Is It Ok to Cross the Line?
Do you help me choose the right technology for my work?
Absolutely. TMHI offers a variety of courses and webinars that will help you understand both basic and advanced concepts in how to choose video, telephone, email, text-messaging and cloud storage companies that meet behavioral health legal and ethical requirements. We’ll give you check lists to help keep you organized, offer you questions to ask vendors and advise you on the legal issues as well as legal agreements you need to obtain to be in compliance with most state, provincial and federal laws.
Are responsible professionals really working online?
Millions of ehealthinteractive sessions are being delivered every year in the United States, and worldwide numbers are much greater. Many single-payor countries (i.e., Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain) have been practicing ehealthinteractive for decades. At TMHI, you will be able to access over 4,000 journal articles and books that form a substantial evidence-base for ehealthinteractive in behavioral health. We have distilled this information into a series of webinars and courses for you to be able to absorb and apply very quickly.
have specific questions about telepractice. How can I get my question(s) addressed?
Our professionals are available for individual or group consultation to help you with your specific needs if you prefer 1-1 consultation rather than or in addition to your professional training. Please view your consultation options here.
How does TeleMental Health Institute training work?
What is the TeleMental Health Institute?
- Webinars — free or low-fee, timely and topic-focused 1-hour discussions to keep you up-to-date and fully informed of legal, ethical and regulatory updates, industry developments and other cutting-edge topics. They are accessible by computer or smart device , both in a LIVE format and afterwards, in recorded form through the TMHI Library of Webinars-On-Demand.
- Certificate Programs — training to instruct you in the latest evidence-based fundamentals, models, strategies and technologies to inspire and support you. This coursework is augmented by TMH Institute bonuses to help you confidently set-up and succeed. Two programs are available: 15-hours and 36-hours, depending on your need for more specialized instruction.
- Distance Credentialed Counselor Training — for counselors and other Master’s level professionals, a special designation is being offered by the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE). TMHI has been approved by the CCE to offer training for counselor who wish to purchase this certification.
- Graduate School — Graduate-level programs are also available for students who seek a career focused on the use of technology in the behavioral sciences. These courses are only available through graduate schools who have contracted with TMHI to deliver these courses to their students.
TMHI is dedicated to providing a simple roadmap and step-by-step guidance for planning, launching and growing telemental health clinical services. (Please note that these services are also referred to as telepsychiatry, telepsychology, distance counseling, online therapy, behavioral telehealth and mhealth.) TMHI provides consultation, training (both CME and CE programming that is available 100% online and in-person), policy development, staffing and credentialing for hospitals, clinics, agencies, group and independent practice professionals who seek to develop telemental health services. It also assists professionals who seek related employment opportunities. TMHIs team of experienced consultants can help you with strategic planning, reimbursement, technology choices, legal and ethical risk management and staff development/placement. TMHI also provides a work/study program for clinicians in financial need who seek professional training and employment, and consults with start-up technology companies seeking to develop new verticals in the behavioral health space.
As a community service, TMHI provides a weekly newsletter and monthly webinars to a worldwide professional community, and donates a portion of its proceeds to grow pro-bono telemental health programs through its non-profit arm, the Telehealth Institute. These pro-bono services are offered through the Telehealth Institute (TI), a California-based non-profit, 501(3)(c) Institute designed to research and develop evidence-based training materials and resources. Together, TMHI and TI are dedicated to providing guidance, resources and other support for planning, launching, staffing and thriving with the right technology, systems and staff that include telepsychiatrists, telepsychologists, distance counselors, online therapists, telebehavioral health professionals and coaches.
When are classes? How long do they take?
All of your courses are self-paced, available 100% online and accessible 24/7. You will gain access immediately upon purchase and can complete all training anytime within 6 months from date of purchase. If you need more time to complete your courses, extended access is available for a modest fee in additional increments of 6 months. To extended your access, go to telehealth.org/6-month-extension.
It's all online, right?
Our training is offered both 100% online and in-person. TMHI’s online coursework gives you access 24/7. You will receive a rich, multi media platform to enhance your enjoyment and learning retention. If you’d like in-person training, please submit a speaking request here.
Where can I get my specific questions answered?
At TMHI, you have three options to get specific answers to your questions. The first is through our TMHI Hub, which is an online community forum available to everyone, including webinar trainees who only come to us for a single event. Upon registration, all trainees get immediate access to the TMHI Hub. Questions are directed to other TMHI trainees and not to our faculty, although some of our faculty respond when needed. The HUB allows you to read and interact with other participants at any time. It is a rich networking environment, where many clinicians have forged relationships that can blossom into a wide range of professional opportunities, from collaborative projects and presentations, to shared companies, authorships and other major undertakings. When sending a message to the TMHI Hub, your posts will reside on our password-protected server, unsearchable by the search engines and unreadable by your clients and patients. You therefore can relax and ask whatever you need to know of international colleagues from 55 countries. (It may be of interest to you to know that professionals from over 55 countries have already taken training from us, and most of our foreign trainees do not wish to have CEs. We therefore make all our programs available either with or without CEs.) If your question is too specific for a community discussion, one of our two other options might be preferable.
A second opportunity for getting questions answered is to join TMHI at the “Platinum” Certification professional training level, where you will be able to ask and get live answers to your questions in monthly meetings. Led by our Founder and Executive Director Dr. Marlene Maheu, these meetings are by telephonic bridge and usually involve a group of TMHI trainees. You will be reminded of these meetings early in the month. Your email questions are invited if trainees cannot attend the live meeting, and sessions are recorded for those trainees who are not able to attend. These recordings are housed in a private section of the TMHI Hub for Platinum trainees to access at their convenience, 24/7.
The last option for getting your questions answered involves direct consultation with one of our Staff. Telemental health consultation
Do you offer Continuing Education?
While it is not mandatory that you earn CE hours to take our training, many professionals are required to have CE hours for their licensure. The TeleMental Health Institute can provide CEs in many cases. We have been formally approved by many groups, but if you are not sure whether your licensing board will accept our training, please send them an email through your Licensing Board’s website (all boards are accessible online), and show them this page.
Who teaches the courses?
TMHI has earned the respect of many world-class industry leaders who have chosen to be on our facility by developing coursework, participating in webinars or joining us for online conference interviews about speciality topics. Please feel free to review our faculty page. (If you have specialized telehealth experience and would like to join our faculty by offering a speciality course or webinar, please send us a note here, along with your course outline and Curriculum Vitae.)
How do webinars work?
Webinars cover updated hot-topic items, helping you obtain the basic information about areas such as secure web-based communication and innovations in mental health. The webinars are held live online, but also recorded for your convenience. You will have up to 6 months after purchase to review webinar materials, which include a recording, slides and often, a handout Webinars also allow you to join our TMHI Hub, where you can ask questions and interact with out other trainees.
What are the completion requirements for the Certificate Program?
We have two versions of our Certificate Program: Gold and Platinum. These are comprised of individual courses, and within each course, you will find the required reading, post-test, and course evaluation. Once each of these components are completed for all of your program courses, you may contact us for a completion audit to receive your badge, website listing, and other benefits (if applicable).
Can I start with the Gold Program, then upgrade later?
Absolutely. You can upgrade your Gold Certificate program at any time by contacting us. Please note: there is a $45 administrative fee for the update.
Which title will I earn when I complete the Certificate Program?
Earn your certificate as a Certified TMHI TeleMental Health Practitioner*. This designation is increasingly used to recognize our graduates for having completed the most comprehensive and research-based post-graduate training program available anywhere today.
*Service Mark Pending
How do I get my certificate?
After completing the courses required for either of the two Certificate Programs: Gold and Platinum, send us a request to manually verify your certificate completion. If you have used the installment payment program, your entire course payment fee must be paid in full. Please give us 5 business days notice to complete your account verification.
What is the Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) designation and how does TMHI offer related training?
For counselors and other Master’s level professionals, a special designation is being offered by the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE). TMHI has been approved by the CCE to offer training for counselors who wish to purchase this certification. See details here: ehealthinteractive.com/dcc
How do I get my CE Hours?
Once you have completed the coursework including the required reading, course evaluation, and post-test, you can print your course certificate by choosing the ‘Course Certificate’ option in the navigation menu. Please note, the certificate will print your name as listed in your training account. It is recommended that you check your name in your profile prior to printing your certificate.
Is TMHI training right for me?
How computer savvy are your average trainees?
A basic understanding of your computer and how to navigate the internet is all you need to get started. Our courses are set up to be user-friendly, and our support staff will help you if you find you need assistance with our online training facility.
Which program should I choose, Platinum or Gold?
The Gold Certificate training is best for you if you work within an agency setting that is already set up to legally and ethically practice telemental health. Your technology has been chosen, vetted, and installed by professionals and perhaps even your agency’s Information Technology (IT) staff. Your legal office has approved a full informed consent process and document for working with clients and patients. Your clinical staff has developed a well-defined emergency plan based on local community resources and an integrated response system is in place if an emergency arises at the client/patient site. Your supervisors know what might go wrong and contingency plans are in place. Your malpractice carrier is on board and you have the appropriate malpractice policy in place. Your billing staff already knows the appropriate telehealth billing codes, place of service designations and telehealth modifiers. You just need some basic legal, ethical and clinical information about how to think about what has been set up for you. You will benefit by the fundamentals as to help you think through the issues to see the bigger clinical picture and how it all ties together into delivering responsible, professional care.
The Platinum Certificate training is best for you if you need to do all the above on your own, without an IT department, legal office, billing staff or clinical staff or supervisors to help you think through the issues. The Platinum program will help you choose your technology, decide whether or not to use videoconferencing, email, text-messaging and other technologies; set up your virtual office and clinical protocols to follow current telepractice guidelines and learn how to get paid for your services.
Do you have any other policies that might relate to me?
Yes, you may wish to know that TMHI does not discriminate against any group with respect to service, program or activity on the basis of gender, race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, religion or age. We also do not advocate for any single modality of treatment that is discriminatory or likely to cause harm to clients or patients based upon current accepted standards of practice. Our goal is to train you to treat any client or patient in an ethical and clinically sound manner consistent with the code of ethics of all our accrediting and approval agencies or your professional associations.
How do I get help with your website?
When is TMHI's customer service team available?
Whenever a question arises, just send an email to our Contact Center. It will be held until our staff comes in for the next shift. If you need help with a particular course, please be sure to mention the name of the course and supply us with your phone number in case your email address is non-responsive (this happens more often than you might imagine.) Our staff is available to answer your questions, change your login, or help you with any other issues. We are also available Monday – Friday, from 11:30am to 6:00pm, Pacific time, by email, live chat or telephone appointment. To be given a telephone call from our staff, just send us a note through our Contact Center and suggest a few good times for us to reach you. We’ll be happy to answer your questions or even give you a “walk-through” of our facility if ever you get stuck.
I missed part of the webinar, what do I do?
We’ve got you covered. All of our webinars are recorded and available for your convenience for up to 6 months from your date of purchase. You may review the recording through the TMHI Training Center. Please note, it may take up to 3 days after an event for us to update the course with the webinar recording.
I'm having trouble printing my certificates.
Internet Explorer sometimes has problems opening automated certificates, so our first suggestion would be to try Chrome or Firefox as your Internet Browser software. Otherwise, we can email your certificates directly to you as an attachment. Just contact us (below) and be sure to let us know if you’re working under a deadline.
What do I do if I have any other questions or concerns?
Please contact us by sending a written note below at your convenience. We answer messages during business hours between 8:30am – 6:00pm, Pacific time. If you prefer a telephonic response, just let us know where and when to reach you and we’ll call you. You’ll be answered by our friendly support staff who is grateful for your feedback and a chance to make it right. We truly are here to help.
What do I do if I have a problem with your training?
If anything is amiss, please write to us immediately. We have a dedicated staff to help you resolve any questions or issues. For example, if you need someone to walk you through our online programming, we are happy to call you by telephone to explain where you may need to click while you are at your computer. Once through a few of our pages, you will most likely be like our other Trainees and come to understand the logic and convenience of an online, distance learning platform. By the way, we’ve had successful Trainees in their 90’s use our system.
If I'm not satisfied, can I get a refund?
Absolutely. We give you a 100%, no-questions asked, money-back guarantee if for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase within 30 days. We stand behind our training 100% and aim to deliver more than we promise. Just send an email our Contact Center if you would like a refund, and please reference the receipt number from your purchase. If on the other hand, you simply want to get help with a course you purchased, be sure to mention the name of the course and supply us with your phone number, in case your email address is non-responsive.
How do I register?
How do I register for training?
Do I use a credit card to pay?
Yes, we accept all major forms of credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. For alternate payment options, please contact us using one of the options below.
For your convenience, we also offer a monthly payment plan option on select programs. After your initial purchase, your credit card will be set up to be charged for that payment amount on that same date for the remaining payments.
SPECIAL NOTE: Please inform us of credit card changes. As a courtesy, TMHI will make one attempt to contact you for a valid credit card number the first time your monthly payment fails to process because of a credit card change. Subsequent attempts will incur a $45 reinstatement fee. All access to TMHI will be suspended immediately upon credit card failures.
Are discount coupons available?
To thank you for taking the time to read all about our program, please accept our offer of 5% off any single training program purchase at TMHI. Use this coupon code: FAQ5 in our shopping cart. (One discount per person, please.)