Could Telepsychiatry Be the Answer to America’s Mental Health Crisis?


Telemedicine psychiatry

When it comes to mental health, the United States has been in a state of crisis for quite some time now. With 25% of adults considered diagnosable for serious mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, there is a real and urgent need to provide accessible, widespread mental health care to American citizens. Until recently, many felt that we simply didn’t have the resources.
Luckily, with innovations in a new technology called telemedicine psychiatry, people are beginning to get the psychiatric help they need.

What is telemedicine psychiatry?
Telemedicine psychiatry employs the use of HIPAA compliant video conferencing that allows patients to remotely receieve psychiatric care from medical practioners. Care can include therapy sessions and diagnoses at all hours of the day, despite locale and normal hours of operation.

What does telemedicine software do?
Telemedicine software, or HIPAA compliant video conferencing software, allows patients to communicate remotely with psychiatrists while still complying with HIPAA standards. HIPAA standards ensure confidentiality for the patient, which is a large concern for remote psychiatric care.

What are the benefits of telemedicine?
While telemedicine technology is proving to be largely beneficial across all medical fields, it seems that telepsychiatry is proving to be one of the most effective types of telemedicine.
Firstly, telemedicine psychiatry provides accessible health care to those who need it most. According to research, there is diagnosable mental illness exists within up to 35% of the population. For those suffering from severe mental disorders, leaving one’s home may be difficult or near impossible. Telepsychiatry enables patients to get the help they need in a safe space, and allows them to continue care and treatment without need for transportation.
This accessibility allows for the destigmatization and dismantling of mental illness, an issue our country continually contends with. The use of telehealth solutions in the psychiatric fields significantly reduces the amount of emergency room visits per year, furthermore reserving funds and resources within hospitals. Tackling mental illness is also taking a big step towards tackling our ever-present, ever-concerning incarceration issues within the United States. A large percentage of incarcerated individuals are mentally ill, and often end up in prison because there is nowhere else to put them, or lack of treatment has driven them to commit crimes.

The accessibility of telepsychiatry is slowing helping to whittle away at this issue, and while it may be not the answer to everything, every step helps.

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