Mental health counseling sometimes requires a re-thinking of how to provide healthcare, specifically so patients feel more comfortable seeking help. This can include developing new ways to deliver care to people; telehealth is one of those ways.
Through the use of current technology, we can now improve access to care for people who live in remote areas or for those who cannot leave their homes due to an illness or mobility problems. It can also be helpful for clients whose anxiety is so debilitating that they have difficulty leaving their home. Additionally, it allows for support to clients between in person visits. Reimbursements through Medicare or other providers are also available when the video conferencing follows specific guidelines.
When therapists insist that patients come to their offices it is excluding millions of patients across the country who need care. Quick check-ins can help an elderly patient in a nursing home, or a child in a rural community.
Consumer demand for teletherapy is increasing, especially for the younger generation who tend to adopt technology more quickly. Interacting with therapists online could be seen as just another convenience, like keeping up with friends and family via social networking.
Many studies have shown that mental health counseling via video conferencing is just as effective as in person counseling. This holds true for counseling related to trauma, depression, anxiety and other issues.
Virtual counseling has many benefits including:
- Ease of access. The patient simply needs a computer, a webcam and internet access.
- Patients who live in remote areas or who are too busy to make it for in person therapy can easily connect with a therapist.
- Less missed appointments. If the patient has easier access to connect, there will likely be less issues when making appointments.
- Therapists who can only serve a certain radius of clients can now expand and help people in other cities.
Of course, teletherapy is not a catch all solution for quality comprehensive health services, but it fixes a lot of issues that could prevent patients from seeking out a counselor.
Teletherapy should be offered in a secure, HIPPA compliant environment. While a technology-based resource is a viable solution to change mental health care delivery, the patient must make sure the services they are receiving are high quality.
If you are considering teletherapy contact Freedom Within today and we can go over the right plan for you to get started.