How Telehealth Helps Rural Communities Gain Access to Mental Health Care

A senior woman meeting with a mental health professional via telehealth.

Decades ago, the thought of receiving any kind of health care through a computer screen seemed futuristic.

But in recent years – especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – more medical professionals are meeting their patients online via telehealth to ensure they continue to receive essential health care, including psychiatry, therapy, and other mental health services.

At Rural Psychiatry Associates, telehealth has been a saving grace for many of our patients – particularly those who live in rural areas, are home-bound, have disabilities, lack reliable transportation, or simply prefer to meet online instead of in person.

Accessibility is only one of many benefits of telehealth. Let’s explore other ways telehealth is helping to accommodate the increasing demand for mental health services in rural America and beyond.

A young woman with blonde hair attends a telehealth session from the comfort of her bedroom.

How Telehealth Benefits Mental Health Care

Convenience

Getting up and ready in time to go to any in-office appointment takes a lot of energy, but especially for people who are struggling with their mental health. Sometimes this fact alone can deter people from attending in-person sessions with their mental health care provider. Delaying this essential care can worsen their mental health and potentially put their lives at risk, depending on the state of their psychological well-being.

However, telehealth has made it much more convenient for people to meet with their designated psychiatrist, therapist, or other practitioner. Instead of spending time and energy to commute to a physical location, telehealth allows patients to log in to their appointments with our team on their personal devices from anywhere with a secure internet connection.

Increased Comfort

We understand that some people may feel uncomfortable in healthcare settings, no matter how warm or welcoming the atmosphere may be. Some people also remain cautious about their health during the pandemic.

Because telehealth allows people to attend mental health sessions from the comfort of their homes, this can empower them to open up more about their mental health struggles and make progress with their provider. Research has indicated that telehealth can be just as beneficial as in-person sessions, allowing patients to rest assured that they are still receiving the same high-quality care through this virtual method.

Improved Outcomes

Studies have shown that treatment delivered through telehealth can lead to better mental health outcomes, such as:

  • Improved quality of life for mental health patients
  • Reduced symptoms of disorders like depression and anxiety
  • Increased confidence in patients to manage their mental health and use productive coping skills
  • Increased patient satisfaction with their mental health
  • Reduced usage of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
A mother and her daughter looking at a tablet together

Reduced Costs

For rural communities, telehealth is often more affordable due to reduced organizational costs. Because patients do not have to leave their homes to attend their therapy or psychiatry sessions, they also save money and time by not having to drive to their appointments or find a babysitter for their children, if applicable.

Additionally, more insurance providers are covering telehealth services for mental health, although coverage will vary by insurance company. Rural Psychiatry Associates accepts a variety of insurance plans to help ensure our patients receive the care they need.

Schedule a Telehealth Appointment

Whether you live far away from your nearest Rural Psychiatry Associates location or nearby, we offer telehealth services to anyone who prefers this type of approach to their mental health care using HIPPA-compliant telemedicine sources. Our patients can rest assured that every telehealth session with our providers upholds our standard of importance in maintaining patient confidentiality.

Contact us today to schedule a telehealth appointment with our team.