Telemedicine is the process of providing healthcare from a distance using technology, often through video conferencing. Telecounseling is a modern way to receive therapy through a secured platform to facilitate video sessions, ongoing direct messaging therapy or a combination of both. Telecounseling and telepsychiatry involve direct interaction between a counselor or psychiatrist and the client.
Research has shown that the satisfaction for telecounseling and telepsychiatry is high among clients and counselors. There are benefits to many clients who use tele-services, as described just below. Additionally, there is evidence that there are people that favor telemedicine to in-person care, for example, individuals with autism or severe anxiety disorders may prefer remote treatment.
Video-based telepsychiatry helps meet patients’ needs for convenient, affordable and readily-accessible mental health services. It can benefit patients in a number of ways, such as:
- Improve access to mental health specialty care that might not otherwise be available (e.g., in rural areas)
- Reduce the barrier of stigma
- Bring care to the patient’s location
- Reduce delays in care
- Improve continuity of care and follow-up
- Reduce potential transportation barriers, such as lack of transportation or the need for long commutes
International and domestic students with UnitedHealthcare insurance have unlimited access to both telehealth and telecounseling services