The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a division of Health and Human Services (HHS) has a database where you can search for information about shortages of access to primary care, dental and mental health services. A quick search for mental health services reveals a significant shortage in almost every area across the nation.
Top 5 Reasons Why TelePsychiatry is a Killer App for Video Conferencing
1) Mental health services means different things to different people, but the vast majority of these services are easily conducted via video conference, provided the quality of the interaction, reliability of the system and ease of use can compare to the physical movement of people from home to clinician’s office, or of clinician to clinic.
2) There is a nationwide shortage of clinicians, but the shortage is not evenly spread. TelePsych could help balance the shortage, making quality care more accessible in the most underserved areas.
3) Some clinicians travel, spending hours getting from their home base to rural access clinics. These travel hours could be productively used seeing patients.
4) Many mental health issues include a social stigma that inhibit patients from seeking care. A secure video conference from their home, rather than going to a clinician’s office, is a far less threatening medium to seek help.
5) Some mental health issues involve group support. The availability of group members in the same place at the same time limits the groups ability to meet and provide support.