Telepsychiatry: a Modern Hero in Child and Adolescent Mental Health?

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Millennials are very familiar with technology, making them ideal patients for telepsychiatry.Generation Z (a name given to those born close to 2000), having been born into an era in which the internet seems to have been around forever, see technology as a primary medium between humans and necessities. In other words, why not use technology to facilitate in everyday tasks that originally required a physical trip?

 

Our point is: younger generations are very comfortable with the idea of telemedicine. Adolescents and children may benefit from online therapy more than they can benefit from in-person visits. Here’s why:

  1. Young people may be more willing to seek help if they felt they had a more private platform to utilize. According to the Association for Psychological Science, only about 60% of people with a mental illness receive treatment. Adding telepsychiatry as a readily-available option may help this statistic.
  2. Patients with social anxiety may be reluctant to talk to a mental health professional, finding it easier to share personal information through an online platform.
  3. Direct patient-to-psychiatrist communication as allowed through a telemedicine platform may be ideal. With online consultations, the patient can meet with his or her psychiatrist without needing a parent to drive them.
  4. Telepsychiatry sessions are generally shorter due to the elimination of travel. Sessions can be seen as less of an inconvenience and more as a quick routine appointment.

 

A study to back us up:

Board-certified psychiatrist Murat Pakyurek of the University of California Davis Medical Center published an article with a thesis stating that telepsychiatry may be superior to face-to-face consultations in patients ages 3-18. He found that children are less inhibited when in a telepsychiatry session; children may be more expressive through telepsychiatry; children are more trustworthy and willing to share during telepsychiatry sessions; and children with social anxiety find it easier to engage with technology.

And of course, beyond children being keener on technology, telemedicine will aid in providing healthcare to rural areas and areas with specialist shortages.

How else can telepsychiatry aid in child and adolescent mental health?

 

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