Telemedicine The New Face Of Mental Health


Telehealth technologies

In recent years, it?s become ? thankfully ? apparent in the health world that mental health is every bit as important as physical health. For that matter, neglecting your mental health often has a negative effect on your physical health. A total of 30-35% of the chronically ill population is believed to suffer from mental illness; additionally, one in five children has a debilitating mental disorder. But the fact is that for various reasons, not everyone is able to visit a mental health professional in person. At the same time, neglecting your mental health can have devastating consequences. Luckily, there is a middle ground. Many have turned to exploring the benefits of telehealth solutions. Telemedicine video conferencing is an option for many ? so let?s look into it.

What Is Telemental Health?

Telemental health takes all of the benefits of seeing a mental health professional — like a counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist ? and brings them to you, in your own home. You communication through video conferencing in a HIPAA compliant atmosphere. With HIPAA compliant software in use, your clinician can talk you through your problems just as they would were you in their office. Telemedicine can be covered by many different healthcare plans, and is just as legitimate as any other medical treatment. The only difference is really the simplicity of conferencing over video. It?s no wonder that in an 18 month study, a high proportion of telemedicine appointments were kept than face to face appointments ? 92% next to 87%.

The Benefits Of Telehealth

The benefits of telehealth are varied. For one thing, it?s very convenient for patients who live far from cities to tend to their mental health needs through telehealth video conferencing. The fact is that most mental health professionals are based in towns and cities, which makes it difficult and often expensive for people who live out of town to reach them. Furthermore, it can be even more difficult for patients living with chronic illness to leave their homes for mental health counseling, despite the fact that many need it now more than ever. Mental illnesses related to depression and anxiety themselves can make it hard for people to leave their homes. Until those individuals are ready to leave, many mental health professionals would prefer to counsel them through telehealth.

Does It Work?

Some may be skeptical about whether or not they?ll receive the same level of care through video conferencing versus face to face appointments. While this is understandable ? it?s hard for some to understand this new type of medicine ? there?s no need to worry. A total of 21% of telehealth patients reported that their quality of care was the same as or higher than the quality of care given by mental health professionals in face to face appointments. Additionally, a study of 8,000 mental health patients found no differences in outcomes for patients who visited mental health professionals versus those who didn?t. This is simply another way to receive care; why not take advantage of it?

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