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With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever changing landscape of health news.Every Thursday at 5:42 a.m., 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs provides health information you can trust. With trustworthy sources, she explores the fact and fiction surrounding various medical conditions and treatments, makes you aware of upcoming screenings, gives you prevention strategies and more…all to your health.

To Your Health: Telehealth and Mental Health

Online psychotherapy concept, sad young girl in depression
Alisa Zahoruiko/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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iStockphoto
Online psychotherapy concept, sad young girl in depression sits at home for consultation with a personal psychotherapist. Help and support video call, virtual therapy conference. Vector illustration

While telehealth has been around since the late 1950s and early 1960s when a closed-circuit television link was established between the Nebraska Psychiatric Institute and Norfolk State Hospital for psychiatric consultations, its absolute integration remained low in the United States until the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Now, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports online therapy, also known as telemental health, is a growing field. A therapist or counselor provides psychological counseling and support over the internet through email, video conferencing, online chat, or a phone call.

Telemental Health has many benefits, such as convenience, timeliness, and accessibility. Some clinicians who work with clients who have certain issues, such as hoarding, also appreciate being able to look into the clients’ living conditions during their video chat. However, there are some drawbacks, including the risk of technology failure, security and confidentiality concerns, and the fact that the therapy relationship dynamic may be influenced.

However, if you have been considering going to counseling, but haven’t been able to make it work with your schedule, or are worried about being seen at the therapist’s office, consider telemental health.

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207141/#:~:text=Probably%20one%20of%20the%20earliest,State%20Hospital%20for%20psychiatric%20consultations.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9035352/

https://adaa.org/find-help/treatment-help/telemental-health-providers

https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/telehealth-for-mental-health

https://crowntowncounseling.com/wellness-articles/2020/4/10/telehealthteletherapy-the-benefits-and-risks

Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.