Telemedicine has emerged as an important mode of care delivery since the pandemic. It enables fast and effective communication, allowing the parties involved to exchange information in real-time. Telemedicine’s convenience and accessibility make it easier to treat not only physical ailments but also mental health issues. Moreover, given that India has only 0.29 psychiatrists and 0.07 psychologists per 100,000 people, the use of telepsychiatry services could be a huge boon to the country.
With the help of tele-mental health consultations, we can bridge the global shortage of psychiatrists and psychologists. Not only it reduces the transportation burden but also allows people to get their concerns addressed right from the comfort of their homes. While most hospitals still do not have tele-mental health programmes, and much remains to be done, the pandemic has presented a blessing in disguise for accelerating development in this area. In fact, the Indian government recently launched a national tele-mental health programme that provides 24*7 free mental health counselling via phone call that aims to achieve the goal of mental health care for all.
Considering the increasing need for improved mental health services across the country, tele-mental health services facilitate the easy delivery of consultation and care, maintaining people’s privacy, confidentiality and safety. Here are some of the ways it acts as a viable option to treat mental healthcare
Research has revealed that tele-mental health services can be as effective as in-person therapy for different types of mental health conditions. One literature review of studies found that online cognitive behavioural therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy in treating moderate levels of depression. In another review, it was found that cognitive behavioural therapy through teleconsultation was equally effective as a face-to-face treatment for social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
People with Physical Disabilities also find it Easier and More Convenient
Tele-mental health services give accessibility to people who are disabled or housebound. Mobility can be an issue of concern when it comes to accessing mental health care. However, for people with mental health problems who are unable to leave their homes for different reasons, online therapy can be a useful alternative to traditional in-person psychotherapy settings.