Have you ever heard about telemental health? What is it? What entails this type of therapy? And how do mental health professionals provide telemental health services?
Struggling Experience With My Mental Illness
According to my parents, I suffered from meningitis when I was only one year old. We did not have a lot of money back then, so they could not get me the medication management that I needed at once. They thought that I would not learn to survive the illness due to its severity and the delayed healthcare services, but I was apparently a resilient baby. I was treated but with a residual side effect of hearing loss.
Going To A Telemental Health Therapy Hours Session For The First Time
My parents were a bit too sensitive about my hearing loss. They experienced anxiety about how I would receive care and support. Before my condition aggravate and affect me entirely, they were worried that I might develop complicated mental health issues like depression or substance abuse because of my hearing loss. They spoke to a behavioral health therapist who recommended that they contact telehealth providers near our place. Telemental health industry was fast becoming popular because of its beneficial factors and outcomes. I already started having anxiety and depression and my parents were really scared for my health, so they decided to seek mental health care human services, in particular, telemedicine or telemental health.
At first, I agreed to telephone health counseling department for my mental health evaluations just to appease my parents. I had nothing against mental help; I was even fascinated by it. But as the therapy sessions went on, I felt grateful for my parents’ decision to sign me up for telehealth therapy because my therapist inspired me to pursue the same profession and offer mental health care services to people with new hearing disabilities.
Working As A Health Care Provider In 2020
I earned my health care certifications in the first quarter of 2020 and was preparing to open my clinic when the COVID-19 pandemic happened. I had to postpone the telemental health appointments because then I had to meet patients for an in-person examination. It devastated me since I knew that I needed to offer online counseling platforms at the time more than ever. Luckily, I discovered that I could do telemental health counseling or therapy with full advance security.
What Is Telehealth Treatment?
Telehealth counseling or therapy is a new form of mental health care service wherein mental health care professionals use technology to provide medicine (telemedicine) or for patients to get treatment resources for their anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and other behavioral health issues. Telemental health services can be done by health professionals – therapists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, and other licensed health providers – in rural communities or remote areas. Thus, there is increased access to psychiatric care, psychiatric consultations, family therapy, and other forms of treatment interventions, as these can be done through call or videoconferencing.
Understanding evidence-based research reports that telemedicine and telemental health services are tremendously helpful for a person who needs traditional mental health services but does not have access to them in his area or is hesitant to see a provider personally. More research examples would be a person who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, whose behavioral health can be improved with medicine along with mental health services. This person can now talk to psychologists or therapists through video conferencing. That is the convenience that office or telehealth treatment offers.
How Do I Start Telehealth Or Telemedicine?
If you want to start offering telemental health services, you need to get some legal advice first. The most important thing to figure out is if your health care state license can be used in other states, too. If it is, then you are free to accept patients all over the US. Otherwise, an attorney who specializes in telemental health services licensing can guide you on your next limited steps to this type of health care service.
You should also review the HIPAA regulars before starting your mental health best practices. The reason is that many individuals refuse to do online therapy and use phone or video conferencing for fear of their sensitive information getting leaked. Thus, make sure to determine and use encrypted software equipment or sign up for a trustworthy platform before getting starting the practices virtually. Also, educate your patients about telehealth therapy.
Furthermore, since you are providing therapy online and telemedicine, you must find a way to increase your patients’ comfort. The practice will seem challenging in the beginning, considering you as a provider cannot even shake a person’s hand through the internet, but you can make it happen by fixing your posture, clothing, smile, and surrounding. You may even play some soft music if you have access to that. More importantly, your internet should be incredibly fast and stable to avoid losing rapport with your telemental health patients.
Is Telemental health covered by insurance?
Telemental health is included in several insurance coverage plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross, Cignal, Humana, and United Healthcare. Despite that, you still cannot expect full mental health coverage up to this day.
How do you become a Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider?
The first step to becoming a Board Certified-TeleMental Health (BC-TMH) provider is to apply for the certification via the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE) website. Then, you will need to attend online classes and pass all the nine modules they will provide, as well as the final examination. You only have two years to finish everything; otherwise, you must send your application again.
How does Telehealth work?
Patients typically call the telemental health company’s hotline or use their account to request a visit. This visitation occurs online whenever a physician is available to diagnose, treat, or prescribe medication to the individuals.
Why would you want to be a telehealth counselor?
- You have wanted to become a counselor for years now.
- More people have told you that you are an excellent listener.
- You don’t mind becoming someone’s confidante and giving advice to everyone.
How much does it cost?
Telemedicine costs approximately half of the regular clinic visit.
What is BC-TMH?
BC-TMH is the abbreviation for Board Certified-TeleMental Health.
Telemental Health Conclusion
Although I could have joined an online counseling platform initially, I thought against it because I wanted to cater to a specific demographic – people with hearing loss like me. In the end, I contacted the local support groups I was a part of, and they directed various clients to me for a consultation through Skype or Zoom.
Though I would eventually open my clinic and meet clients face-to-face when the pandemic ends, I would continue offering telephone health counseling.