When Lisa Price became a Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider (BC-TMH) in 2018, she was the second person to obtain the credential from the Center for Credentialing & Education, a division of NBCC, and the first to earn it in the state of Virginia. As a counselor in a rural area, having the ability to provide telemental health services enabled her to serve clients who otherwise may not have access to care, she says.
As one of 11 siblings, Price grew up in the rural community of Ridgeway, Virginia. Her mother, a Certified Nursing Assistant, instilled in her early on the importance of developing interpersonal relationships and caring for others, she says. She also recalls having important everyday responsibilities at a young age, which made life difficult at times.
“I struggled throughout school; there was little interest and time for doing homework because there were clothes to hang out, animals to feed, gardens to hoe, dishes to wash, and younger siblings to bathe,” she says.
After graduating from high school, Price got a job working in textiles, where she remained for 21 years. It was tedious at times, often leading to feelings of burnout. When the factory eventually closed, its employees received grant monies to apply toward the cost of higher education. It was a major turning point, she says.
“That was one of the greatest opportunities of my life; by then I was married with three children, and money was tight. I earned a bachelor’s degree in human services from Old Dominion University, and five years later I received my Master of Arts in professional counseling from Liberty University.”
Price began working for Social Services in foster care and family services, and later for Family Preservation Services, where she provided therapeutic day treatment. After holding several positions, including work in private counseling, in 2016 she assumed her current role as a Specialized Juvenile Probation Counselor for Piedmont Community Services (PCS). Her part-time contract positions with PCS have included Certified Pre-screener, Mental Health Counselor, and Substance Abuse Counselor. In 2018, Price became a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC), and the second person to earn CCE’s Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider (BC-TMH) credential.
“I began attending conferences and believed telehealth counseling would have a major impact in the near future,” she says. “Then I pursued the certification, and I became the first person in the state of Virginia to earn the BC-TMH credential.”
The timing was perfect.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic began, my counseling services temporarily switched from all in-person to all telehealth services, and the majority of the pre-screens I completed were provided via telehealth. Presently, about 75% of my counseling services continue to be through telehealth. Because of my education and certification in telehealth through CCE, the transition to telehealth work was very easy,” she says.
Price believes that earning the BC-TMH has helped her career tremendously.
“Having the BC-TMH has proved beneficial for all my jobs and clients,” she says. “My hopes and plans are to continue to have the opportunity to provide telemental health services to my underserved rural community. I have found having the credential to be a rewarding and safe practice that has allowed many people services that otherwise may not have been possible.”