Mental health disorders affect people worldwide, yet many barriers prevent them from getting proper treatment. Some of these hurdles are stigma, reduced awareness of mental health and a lack of access to psychological services. Luckily, telemedicine and Telemedicine psychiatry can reduce some of these issues, as it makes mental health services more accessible. Many people can now address issues like trauma and depression due to this incredible tool. Telemedicine psychiatry provides a nationwide network of mental health experts that can help you cope with the problem you’re facing.
Due to its flexibility and availability, virtual care allows both doctors and patients to thrive. Telemedicine psychiatry has many benefits, including reduced healthcare costs and personalized care plans.
This article explores how using telemedicine can help patients dealing with mental health disorders. But we should first look at the obstacles to getting mental health treatment.
What stops people from seeking treatment?
One in four people globally will struggle with a neurological or mental disorder at a certain point in their lives. If these issues aren’t addressed, they can worsen in time, affecting every aspect of the individual’s life.
Sadly, getting proper treatment is not easy, as many obstacles stand in the way of receiving medical support. One of the most common reasons people avoid seeking treatment is stigma. Although more and more people are becoming more familiar with mental health, stigma is still an issue – particularly in places with no education around the concept.
The shame associated with mental health disorders stops people from getting the support they need. This is why raising awareness on these issues is vital – people have to understand once and for all that mental health requires as much attention as physical health.
Another common hurdle is mental health specialists’ shortage. Many countries still lack access to mental health programs and services. While it’s easier to find a specialist in populated metropolitan areas, things are not the same for smaller rural communities.
How can telepsychiatry eliminate these obstacles?
Telepsychiatry is a part of telemedicine that involves a wide range of services, including psychiatric evaluation, patient education, therapy, and more. Patients can get help through a telecommunication form, which is often videoconferencing. Most users of telepsychiatry are satisfied with the services – not only in terms of evaluation and treatment but also in privacy.
Scheduling appointments is not an issue because patients can show up from the comfort of their houses. It is fascinating that research has constantly shown that healthcare solutions are as effective as face-to-face appointments.
Here are some of the most significant benefits of telepsychiatry:
It provides instant access to mental health services
It’s such a pity that many patients face obstacles to getting access to proper mental health care. In peripheral areas, the doctor-patient relationship is often poor. Thus, the only solution for individuals living there would be to travel to another location for better opportunities. However, this can be exceptionally expensive for them.
What’s more, patients’ lives are sometimes so complex that following a proper treatment plan can be challenging for them. There are cases when patients cannot access services because they can’t provide childcare.
Luckily, telemedicine psychiatry is available for anyone who has an internet connection. It’s an excellent benefit for home-bound patients who cannot travel due to various reasons, such as lack of transportation, disabilities, and so on. This type of service allows patients to meet with a medical expert from any location, which is highly convenient.
It makes communication and monitoring easier
Telemedicine enables communication and monitoring to happen via technology. This is beneficial for mental health specialists, as they get to communicate and monitor patients in real-time. They can provide various resources for patients, which may include educational materials and coping techniques. What’s more, mental health experts can also send patients reminders about the appointment. All of these things can be done in one click.
What makes telemedicine so effective is the variety of tools that can be used, like apps and remote patient sensors that allow medical experts to monitor their patients’ symptoms. When it comes to in-person services, delays in care can sometimes be a barrier to getting treatment. However, this isn’t an issue in telemedicine, as the virtual landscape makes it convenient to monitor patients and provide treatment.
It offers patients a comfortable setting for treatment
There are various reasons patients avoid seeking treatment for their mental health disorders. Some individuals might be scared of people recognizing them when going to a psychiatrist. Others might face issues with transportation. Or sometimes, scheduling might be a problem.
All these things can be stressful and lead to anxiety, only aggravating the existing mental health disorders.
Luckily, you can prevent this unwanted experience through telemedicine. Individuals who use remote telehealth healthcare get the chance of being treated from their own homes. This provides flexibility, as they can schedule appointments even outside of usual working hours and weekends. Due to telemedicine’s comfort and privacy, patients can become more willing to get the treatment that is so vital for them.
It provides personalized care plans
Telemedicine allows mental health specialists to tailor treatments for every patient. Due to this technology, you can automatically monitor a patient’s progress without being limited to the appointment hours. This can help you figure out the changes, and thus, it makes it easier to intervene and use another approach when needed.
Patients are all different, and thus, their mental health needs won’t be the same. They can range from simple to complex ones – while for some patients, counseling might be enough, for others, treatment might require a drug prescription.
It is a cost-effective option
Telepsychiatry is also beneficial from a financial perspective. For many individuals, accessing quality psychiatric care can be financially overwhelming. Getting psychiatric care might sometimes involve travel costs. And there might also be other disruptions that can interfere with the treatment, such as bad weather and delays.
On top of that, traveling to see a specialist might require some time off from work or school. This can be genuinely burdensome for families in need of psychiatric care, as it can lead to a significant loss of income. Telepsychiatry can remove this hurdle, as patients no longer have to choose between their finances and mental health. They can save money while getting access to quality services.