Modifications to a Collaborative Network During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Adapting to a Changing Landscape to Meet Community Needs
Individuals living in the United States of America experienced remarkable changes to their activities, routines, and facets of their daily life as a result of the coronavirus or COVID-19. Mitigation strategies, including social distancing, telework and telemental health (TMH), have had significant implications in neighborhoods and communities. Research has indicated community collaboration in behavioral health is a key factor in meeting the health needs of individuals through the organization of resources, shared communication, and an understanding of the roles of different community agencies (Christens & Inzeo, 2015; Walzer, Weaver, & Mcguire, 2016). As a result of COVID-19, Central Virginia’s behavioral healthcare and human services agencies shifted from largely face-to-face contact to a telehealth delivery of care through audio and video conferencing. The purpose of this article is to present a case study on the modifications made by a human services collaborative network in Central Virginia which may provide generalized lessons that other agencies and collaborative networks consider when adapting to address an unforeseen pandemic. Prior to discussing modifications and offering generalized lessons learned, a description of the collaborative network including the guiding theory and how the theoretical framework shaped the modifications will be presented.
Keywords: community, collaboration, pandemic, COVID-19, behavioral health, telework, lessons learned