Telemental health is simply receiving therapy through electronic means whereby the client and clinician are in two different locations. Video sessions are accessed through a secure video conferencing platform. Accessing the platform is easy, using a one click icon that you will be provided via Email and/or text.
What are the Technology Requirements?
To use telemental health for your therapy, you will need a secure setting for the session that will ensure your privacy, and a computer with internet connection. The system is cloud based with point to point encryption which meets HIPAA criteria for privacy.
What are the Benefits of Telemental Health?
Telemental health provides easier access to counseling and expertise than traditional in office sessions. It can save on travel time to and from sessions. You can use your lunch hour for sessions. In circumstances where scheduling or distance is challenging, Telemental health allows access to services that would otherwise be unattainable. It is perfect for our ever changing Alaskan weather and road conditions.
Telemental health provides an avenue for members of a family who are in different locations to participate in sessions. One member of a couple may not be able to get across town at the appointment time and can participate through video. For those living outside of Anchorage, appointments are available with the click of a key on your keyboard, from the comfort of your home.
This also gives people access to clinicians outside your geographical area who may have expertise not available in your area. You are more able to pick a counselor that meets your needs without proximity being an issue.
Research which supports the use of telemedicine:
- Multiple studies show online counseling as effective as “in-person” counseling
- Depressed clients tend to stay in counseling longer online than in person
- A higher percentage of online clients say they would seek counseling again
- Clients with Anxiety often feel safer and more motivated when able to access counseling from the comfort of their home.
Who is Telemental Health For?
Telemental health can provide greater access to services in the following situations:
- Individuals who travel for work
- People who work from home
- Stay at home parents
- Health issues that keep you from leaving home
- Rural communities lacking adequate resources
- Nursing homes
- Those with disabilities
- No transportation to get to appointments
- Fear face to face interaction
- Prefer technology based interaction
- Couples or family sessions when members are in different locations
- Weather restrictions
- Convenience, not traffic, commuting or parking.
Due to licensing requirements, clients must affirm, at each session, that they are present in the State of Alaska.* They also must affirm their actual physical location, in the event of an emergency need to send help. And, must affirm that their location is private from others being able to overhear.
* In the near future I will be renewing my N.C. license and obtaining a CO and OR license, making my Tele-Health services available to those in those states, as well.