LaToya White ’12Published Monday, October 26th, 2020
Bridging Mental Health Treatment and Technology During COVID-19
Telemental health is the practice of delivering clinical health care services via technology assisted media or other electronic means between a practitioner and a client who are in two different locations. Since hunkering down for COVID 19, Latoya White ’12 has been working virtually over a telemental health platform performing psychiatric evaluations and medication management. During the pandemic, they have provided treatment services through telemedicine. “I have a home office set up in my basement. People are grateful that the office didn't shut down completely and that virtual appointments are available, especially during such an uncertain time. It is so convenient for patients, especially those who rely on public transportation,” said LaToya.
A Psychiatric Physician Assistant, LaToya, is employed by Balance Point Wellness, LLC an outpatient mental health clinic. She has been employed there since 2019 and at some point, LaToya said she has worked for each of the company’s locations. The organization provides counseling/psychotherapy, psychiatric, equine-facilitated therapy, and wellness services. “In short,” said LaToya, “I diagnose, treat, and manage psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADHD, psychosis, bipolar disorder and other mood disorders. I also prescribe medications.”
Being able to provide mental health services during these challenging times is significant for LaToya. She is responsible for initial psychiatric evaluations and medication management of her clients. “I use video and audio. I have even done telephone visits with those who don't have access to the internet, computer, or a smartphone. I don't do therapy.”
LaToya attributes her success to her experience at Coppin. When she started at Coppin in 2002, she had just returned home from the Army and was a 19-year-old single mother. She found school and motherhood too much. LaToya failed her second semester, received an eviction notice and a turn off notice from BGE. “Coppin gave me a no interest loan to pay my rent and helped me apply for energy assistance to cover my BGE.”
Her challenges did not end there. LaToya eventually had to withdraw. She returned to Coppin in 2010. “My last semester at Coppin I ran out of financial aid. I didn't even know that could happen. Being a graduating senior, I ran into the financial aid office crying hysterically. They gave me additional grant money to pay for my last semester. I graduated with a 3.8 GPA. I received the Department of Natural Sciences Biology Faculty Award, Coppin State University STEM Award and Second Place for the Senior Forum thesis poster presentation in 2012.”
LaToya’s advice to current students, “Don't be afraid to fail, be afraid of not trying. Ask for help. You will be surprised how many people are willing to help you when they see your passion. My mother always said, "The squeaky wheel gets the oil." And don't worry about how much time something will take, time will pass anyway. I was 30 when I graduated Coppin and 35 when I finished grad school. Most importantly have fun and make good memories along the way.”