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Telepsychiatry to Treat Mental Illness


Telepsychiatry has become a growing service around the country. It allows for more access to care for those living in remote areas and for those who need help at any hour of the day. Typically, patients will video conference with their doctors for evaluations and to manage their medication. Although the human touch may be missing, many find telepsychiatry to be a very effective form of treatment.

Telepsychiatry has been especially strong in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). With younger generations being more familiar with using apps and social media, they tend to prefer telepsychiatry over face-to-face visits. Plus, it usually does not cost more than an in-person visit. More than half of the states in the U.S. have laws in place that require private insurers to pay for telepsychiatry just as they would pay for an in-person visit.

Below are some questions to ask before starting telepsychiatry to learn more about the treatment and decide if it is right for you.

  • Is this a one-time consultation or an ongoing treatment?
  • Is the technology secure and is it privacy protected?
  • What happens if there is an emergency situation?
  • What are the arrangements for lab tests or prescriptions needed?

Telepsychiatry is changing the way that providers are working with patients and providing treatment. Evidence continues to show that it is leading to improved outcomes and higher patient satisfaction ratings. With psychiatric resources not always close to home, telepsychiatry is definitely a treatment to consider.

Sources:
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/01/15/telepsychiatry-the-new-frontier-in-mental-health

http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Telepsychiatry_and_Your_Child_108.aspx

http://www.postcrescent.com/story/news/local/2016/02/15/telepsychiatry-spreading-mental-health-help/79357936/

Lori's Bio PhotoLori Atkinson, Operations Assistant for The Kim Foundation
Lori Atkinson joined The Kim Foundation in May 2015 as an Operations Assistant.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree from UNL in Middle Level Education. She was an 8th grade English teacher in the Omaha Public Schools for ten years and started a small non-profit in her husband’s memory in 2010. Lori assists with many of the day-to-day tasks for The Kim Foundation which includes scheduling presentations in the community, coordinating booths at conferences, attending mental health trainings, researching mental illness/suicide, and working community events.  Lori is the proud mom of three children and is actively involved in her church.

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