What is the Telemental Health Resource Center?

WRCAC’s Telemental Health Resource Center (TMHRC) was launched in 2019 to provide Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) with research and resources to support the implementation of telemental health (TMH) services. Since then, we have seen many CACs initiate TMH services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when information related to the implementation of TMH expanded exponentially. WRCAC has responded to these changes by relaunching the TMHRC with an updated structure as well as more curated resources and research relevant to CACs.

Our goal is to provide a site where State Chapters, CAC directors, clinicians, and victim advocates can find resources, helpful websites, and a highlight of relevant research to support the implementation and maintenance of TMH services at CACs.

Why Should CACs Utilize Telemental Health Services?

There are many advantages to building capacity to deliver trauma-focused telemental health services to CAC clients.


​First, telemental health extends the reach of the CAC program. Families may be challenged to access in-office therapy due to the distances they need to travel. In rural and frontier communities, families may live an hour or more from the center, and in more populated areas, limited transportation options make it hard for families to come to a CAC office regularly. In addition, work and school schedules, childcare issues and weather can all prevent consistent, in-person participation.  Telemental health overcomes these barriers and allows CACs to reach these families. For CACs that have the capacity for onsite services, a hybrid option of in-person and TMH sessions allows for access to services when weather, transportation, or other issues get in the way. The ability to pivot to a TMH session if there is a barrier to getting to the center on the day of an appointment means maintaining continuity of care Hybrid options give flexibility to both CAC staff and clients.  
Second, telemental health is a viable and effective means for delivering evidenced-based and trauma-informed therapies to children, adolescents, and adults. TMH has moved beyond a response to when clinicians cannot provide in-person services. Research supports that TMH is not “less than” when it comes to delivering clinical services. This is not only great news for rural and frontier CACs where TMH may be the only option they can offer clients, but for all CACs who want to offer more options for their clients.
Third, telemental health allows CACs to increase the number of clients they serve. As the use and acceptance of telemental health grows, it opens the possibility for CACs to launch a mental health program where they previously could not because of a dearth of local clinicians. Some rural CACs who have, at the most, one part-time or full-time therapist on-site can utilize trauma therapists who work remotely to provide TMH services. In this way, TMH expands the ability for CACs to serve clients who may have otherwise spent months on a waiting list.
What the Research Says

Fortunately, there are many research studies that support the implementation and efficacy of TMH for children experiencing trauma.

The Child Abuse Library Online (CALiO™), a service of the National Children’s Advocacy Center, has a comprehensive and recently updated bibliography on telemental health: Telehealth and Telemental Health Services: A bibliography

If you are looking for some essential information to get started, we suggest reviewing the following articles. These articles are highlighted in Issue 20 and Issue 25 of the WRCAC Roundup.

We want to hear from you!

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Interested in further guidance or additional resources? Submit a request for TA and a member of our team will get in touch to provide customized support.

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Amelia Siders, Ph.D., Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center
Patty Terzian, Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center
Charles Wilson, MSSW, Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center
Lisa Conradi, Psy.D., Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center
Vicky Gwiasda, Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center
Madison Stark, MSW, Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center
Lana Lo, Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center

WRCAC would like to acknowledge the hard work and generosity of our telemental health pilot project partners including the Washington and Montana State Chapters and the project consultants for sharing their expertise and resources that helped to inform this site:

Brenda George, Children’s Alliance of Montana
Paula Reed, Children’s Advocacy Centers of Washington
Regan Stewart, Ph.D., Medical University of South Carolina
Paula Condol, MS, LPCC, Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center
Nicola Herting, Ph.D., Sanford Traumatic Stress Treatment Center