Experts estimate that approximately one-fifth of the world’s population has a mental health disorder that should be treated. Also, many psychiatrists and psychologists are excited about the use of telepsychiatry in Raleigh, North Carolina, and elsewhere across the country.
Learn how to determine if videoconferencing with your psychiatrist and/or mental health therapist is the right treatment method for you.
Understanding What TelePsychiatry Is & How It Works
Telemedicine is trending in all types of healthcare fields these days. Many psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health therapists are also offering this innovative method of treating their clients.
Basically, telepsychiatry connects psychiatrists/therapists with clients through use of videoconferencing. This requires either a television screen, computer monitor or smartphone connected to the Internet with real-time video technology.
How Effective TelePsychiatry Is Helping Rural Clients
Thousands of people across America today don’t have access to quality mental health treatment. Also, this is true worldwide in almost every country.
More rural inhabitants are using telehealth technologies to ensure access to specialty health fields including psychiatric treatment.
The good news is that effective telepsychiatry is helping rural clients get the mental health treatment that they need. However, more rural communities are still lacking essential broadband access. This can hinder telehealth services to people who need it most.
Pros & Cons of Videoconferencing in Mental Health
There are both advantages and disadvantages of using videoconferencing type technology for mental health care. There are also rules and regulations that healthcare providers must follow when providing this sort of service.
Telehealth is meant for patients who are deemed stable enough to not need face-to-face health treatment. Each client will undergo a face-to-face psychiatric assessment before beginning this treatment type.
Generally, clients must meet face-to-face with their mental health treatment provider every few months and/or at least once a year. This can vary somewhat between states and providers. Since this technology is relatively new and evolving, rules are subject to change.
Some pros include:
- Can increase treatment access
- Cuts out travel requirement
- More clients can be treated
- Lowers or eliminates waiting time
- Increases client satisfaction with services
- Also, Allows access to specialists not available in rural or poor areas
- Can lower client stress
- Avoids appointment cancellations due to weather or health problems
- More efficient
- Terrific for busy people
- Can increase treatment care quality
- Also, More engaged clients can increase motivation
- Easier to report problems right away
Some cons include:
- Rural communities often still lack broadband service
- Client & staff must be proficient with technology – requires training
- Initial cost of equipment can be higher
- Care needs to be taken for keeping continuity of care with multiple healthcare providers using the program
- Also, Costs allowed by healthcare insurance can vary & may be more limited for this service
- Requires that client have access to Internet broadband & smartphone or computer
- Sensitive client information safety risks when using Internet programs
- Connection may be hindered during bad weather or other interference
- Not for everyone – clients with dementia, younger children & those with certain learning or other disability may hinder treatment effectiveness
- Human contact limited – some clients miss this
Is TelePsychiatry Effective for Everyone?
While telepsychiatry services are revolutionizing the mental health field, it is not for everyone.
Some client groups that may be helped with telehealth services include:
- Homebound clients
- Prison inmates
- Also, Stable clients with high anxiety, fears of leaving home or other issues
- Small hospital patients needing specialists
- Community groups like support groups, senior centers & others without nearby access to these supportive and therapeutic services otherwise
- Clients in abuse situations – discreet phone apps to contact help
Client groups not suited include:
- Suicidal thoughts, behaviors etc. – proceed to ER
- Clients with dementia or confusion
- Those with learning or other pertinent disability
- Anyone exhibiting life-threatening illnesses or behaviors
It is important that an in-depth initial assessment be completed face-to-face with a mental health provider. This is done to evaluate whether the client meets the safety criteria for moving to telepsychiatry type services available in Triangle and/or Raleigh, NC.
Each client we will give information regarding videoconferencing and sign detailed permission to treat document. Also, we will give clients instructions on pertinent situations that will need immediate reporting.
Lastly, Contact MedPsych Integrated via https://www.medpsychnc.com online or call 919-582-7272 for details about TelePsychiatry Services in Raleigh.