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Help Is Here

Life can be overwhelming. Sometimes it's hard to know where to turn for help.

A free, virtual mental health program offering Arkansans of all ages help with mental health issues, AR ConnectNow provides the support you need to overcome any obstacle you face, from common stress to substance abuse to depression.

Whether you have a chronic mental health condition or are struggling with a new issue, you can call AR ConnectNow 24 hours a day, seven days a week to schedule an appointment with a licensed therapist. During your sessions, your therapist will provide the comprehensive behavioral health treatment you need for your mental, emotional and physical wellness.

All conversations you have with your therapist are completely confidential, and you can always feel free to share any struggle you face without judgment.

No insurance is required, and no referral is necessary. All you need is a computer, tablet or phone to connect with AR ConnectNow.

It's simple. It's free. And it could be the key to living a healthier, happier life.

Here's how it works.

1. Reach out.

The first step toward getting help is often the hardest, but we do our best to make it simple. If you'd like to schedule an appointment with AR ConnectNow, all you have to do is call 501-526-3563 or 800-482-9921. Accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, our phone lines are answered by nurses who are trained to determine if you are in crisis at the time of your call. If you are not in crisis at the time of your call, the nurse will schedule your AR ConnectNow enrollment phone call. If you are in crisis, the nurse will direct you to your nearest emergency department for immediate help.

2. Enroll in AR ConnectNow.

At the appointment time set up during your initial phone call, an AR ConnectNow intake coordinator will call you to complete your enrollment. During this call, you will learn about AR ConnectNow’s services, and the intake coordinator will collect important demographic and contact information from you. Then, the intake coordinator will schedule your first video session with a therapist to complete a new patient assessment.

3. Complete your new patient assessment.

During a video session, your therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation, which will include questions about your reason for seeking help, goals for treatment, pertinent medical history, family health history and more. The therapist will also determine if a referral to a psychiatrist is needed for medication purposes. At the end of this session, the therapist will schedule your individual therapy sessions.

4. Attend individual therapy sessions.

Once your new patient assessment is complete, you can begin individual therapy appointments. These will be 60-minute video sessions with the same therapist who conducted your initial assessment. You may complete up to six free individual therapy sessions, and we recommend scheduling one session per week. If further treatment is needed after six sessions, your therapist will connect you to the care you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

When seeking therapy as a minor, your parent/guardian must be present for the intake and assessment. For ongoing therapy sessions as a minor, your parent/guardian must be at the same location at the time of the service, but does not have to sit in on the virtual sessions. Your mental healthcare provider and parent/guardian will work together to determine the best course of treatment.

Comprehensive behavioral health treatment includes holistic care that goes beyond mental health services. At AR ConnectNow, we also connect our patients with resources to address any physical needs that put a strain on their mental health, such as food assistance, living assistance and more.

AR ConnectNow offers short-term individual therapy services to patients for up to six sessions. These services include crisis intervention and crisis stabilization. Once a patient has used their six free sessions, AR ConnectNow will also help them transition into longer-term therapy services in their region of the state.

During your first therapy visit, you will complete a process known as a diagnostic assessment. An assessment helps the therapist best understand their patient by obtaining important information, such as why the patient is seeking therapy, the patient’s medical history, pertinent family history and more. The overall purpose of the assessment is to help the patient and therapist to establish counseling goals and to form the patient's treatment plan.

You have to identify a problem before you can solve it. Your sessions will be most productive if you know why you are seeking therapy and what outcome you want to work towards.

AR ConnectNow patients are provided up to six individual therapy sessions with their therapist.

Therapy sessions can last up to 60 minutes.

We recommended scheduling weekly sessions.

Yes, patients must complete their therapy sessions on video. Due to HIPAA rules regarding patient health information, patients need to be present on video to not only verify their identity, but to follow current telehealth guidelines for therapists.

Various factors such as internet connections, device issues and more can affect the quality of virtual therapy. The quality of treatment remains the same though.

UAMS is dedicated to patient safety. We only choose platforms that offer the highest security. We also maintain confidentiality by having therapists conduct sessions in their own offices, identify patients by their MRN numbers instead of by name, and honor our ethical codes.

Each therapist approaches treatment with their clients in different ways. Some therapists may assign their patient homework while others may not.

As a patient, you have every right to advocate for yourself and decide what’s best for your journey. If you do not get along with or trust your therapist, let them know that they may not be the best fit for you and ask to be referred to a different therapist.

The patient must be within the state of Arkansas at the time of the service, and the patient is expected to treat their virtual appointments the same as they would in-person appointments. For example, the patient’s virtual appointments cannot be conducted while the patient is in the bathroom, in a public setting like the grocery store or while watching television. The patient should be in a quiet, private environment with limited distractions for all their virtual appointments. For the patient's safety, any appointments attempted while the patient is driving a motor vehicle will be rescheduled. The patient is expected to be fully clothed during the video sessions.

At times, bills may accidentally be sent. If you receive a bill, let your therapist know or you can email it to arconnectnow@uams.edu as soon as possible. You will not be made responsible for any costs related to your AR ConnectNow services.

AR ConnectNow is a short-term program. In cases where longer-term therapy is needed, our care coordinators will find therapy resources in your community.

AR ConnectNow has access to psychiatrists to help with identifying and prescribing the medications that patients may need. However, the patient’s engagement with the psychiatrist will be limited to the time that they are in our program. For medication management following a patient’s discharge from the AR ConnectNow program, the patient will be referred to a psychiatrist in their area. As a virtual program, AR ConnectNow is prohibited from prescribing and filling some medications. These include controlled substances like Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), Klonopin (clonazepam), and stimulant medications used to treat ADHD.

No, AR ConnectNow does not perform psychological testing. If that is needed, our care coordinators will find psychological testing resources in your community.

No, you do not have to be a resident of Arkansas. However, you must be within the state of Arkansas at the time of service. If you are outside of Arkansas, there are UAMS regional campuses who may be able to assist you.

Ready to schedule an appointment?

Call 501-526-3563 or 800-482-9921

Request more information about AR ConnectNow

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This form is only to request information about AR ConnectNow. If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

While You Wait

Once you call AR ConnectNow, it may be a few days before your session with a therapist. In the meantime, use the tips below to help ease your mental health issues.

1. Stay active.
Physical activity is proven to boost your mood and alleviate a wide range of mental health issues.

2. Avoid drugs and alcohol.
Even if you don’t have a substance abuse problem, it is best to avoid drugs and alcohol while struggling with mental health.

3. Meditate.
Offer yourself a mental escape from your issues by spending time in meditation. Even five minutes can be helpful.

4. Journal.
Keeping a journal can help you process your emotions and provide valuable insight for your therapist, should you choose to share your writing.

5. Avoid caffeine.
Caffeine can worsen stress and anxiety.

6. Lean on loved ones.
Spend time with friends and family who serve as a positive force in your life.

7. Get some sleep.
Rest is crucial to your mental health. Try to get at least seven hours a night.

8. Maintain a healthy diet.
Nourish both your body and mind with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.