Due to a growing number of questions resulting from a U.S. mandate requiring clinicians to share progress notes with patients (including mental health notes), OpenNotes hosted two Office Hour sessions with Stephen (Steve) O’Neill, LICSW, BCD, JD, mental health liaison for OpenNotes, on Thursday, October 22, 2020.
Thank you to everyone who registered for and participated in Office Hours. Registration has closed. Learn more about open notes in mental health by reviewing the information below.
Preparing for Office Hours
Office Hours is an opportunity to ask questions, kind of like jumping into the Q&A that usually occurs AFTER a formal presentation. We encourage you to review the following presentations and resources before Office Hours.
Watch: Presentations about open mental health notes
Watch these videos before attending Office Hours to optimize time for questions.
- Benefits & risks of sharing notes in mental & behavioral health over 5 years (10 min, 36 sec) featuring Stephen (Steve) O’Neill, LICSW, BCD, JD
- Open mental health notes empower patients (5 min, 21 sec)
- Open notes makes therapy more interesting (1 min, 25 sec)
Review selected “open mental health notes” publications
- Chimowitz H, O’Neill S, et al. Sharing Psychotherapy Notes with Patients: Therapists’ Attitudes and Experiences, Social Work, April 2020.
- Blease C, O’Neill S, et al. Sharing notes with mental health patients: balancing risks with respect, The Lancet Psychiatry, April 2020.
- O’Neill S, Chimowitz H, et al. Embracing the new age of transparency: mental health patients reading their psychotherapy notes online. Journal of Mental Health. July 2019.
Bookmark the OpenNotes Mental Health Toolkit (web page)
With help from Stephen F. O’Neill, BCD, JD, and other experts, OpenNotes offers a free resource about open mental health notes on this website.
About the expert
Stephen (Steve) F. O’Neill, LICSW, BCD, JD, is the OpenNotes specialist in Behavioral/Mental Health. For many years, Steve was the Social Work Manager for Psychiatry, Primary Care, Pain Management and Infectious Disease as well as the Associate Director of the Ethics Support Service at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Through his leadership, he began the first ever program in making behavioral health therapist notes readily available to patients through their personal computers in 2014.
Steve has extensive teaching experience, numerous committee assignments including the Professional Review Task Force of NASW, Harvard Medical School’s Clinical Ethics and Organizational Ethics Consortiums and Harvard Medical School’s Ethics Leadership Group. He was a member of the Preventable Harm to Respect and Dignity initiative within health care at BIDMC as well as a member of BIDMC’s Emergency Management Team and the HMS Task Force on Ethical Aspects of Emergency Preparedness. He is the author/co-author of a number of articles, chapters and a book entitled Legal Issues in Social Work (2004). Keep reading.