Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

Third Space Toolkit: New Resource from ADAI’s CAAHS Supporting Telehealth for Substance Use Disorders


ADAI’s Center for Advancing Addiction Health Services (CAAHS), working with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, recently developed an interactive online toolkit, the Third Space Toolkit: Building Space for Telehealth in Libraries and the Community, to support the addition of “privacy pods” in Idaho public libraries for the purpose of providing private spaces for library patrons to access telehealth for substance use disorder and mental health care.

The goal of the toolkit is to help libraries and other “third spaces*” design and implement confidential and responsive areas patrons who might not have access to high-speed internet or other necessary technologies at home can use for telehealth.

*A “third space” is a community setting different from someone’s primary spaces, like home (their “first space”) or work (their “second space”). It includes things like cafes, bars, clubs, community centers, libraries, churches, etc.

The toolkit is focused on substance use disorders and mental health but much of the information is applicable to any kind of telehealth or telebehavioral health care. Similarly, though the toolkit is focused on public libraries, the information would apply to any kind of public or “third” space, and is also relevant not just to staff of those spaces, but also to providers and patients who are looking for alternative settings for delivering or accessing telehealth care.

Sections in the toolkit cover:

3-d model screenshot
  • The history and role of telehealth and third spaces
  • Trauma-informed practices
  • Reducing stigma for substance use disorders and mental health
  • Evaluating your telehealth space and program
  • Confidentiality law and privacy protections
  • Creating your customized telehealth space

The final section (“Creating your customized telehealth space”) features an interactive 3-D interactive model (pictured) of a sample telehealth space and lots of practical tips on equipment, scheduling software, sample library policies, and more.

The toolkit launched in May 2024 with a webinar hosted by the Northwest ATTC featuring several of the team members involved in its development – a recording of the webinar is now available on the Northwest ATTC’s website!

Find the Third Space Toolkit here!