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Many people find it intimidating to reach out for mental health support. It is a step of vulnerability and can bring up feelings of anxiety, judgement, and stigma. Online psychiatryis an emerging approach that makes accessing clinical support safe, convenient, and accessible. Finding psychiatric care can be as simple as a text or video phone call from the comfort of your own home.
Accessible avenues to access treatment are appearing to meet mental health needs. Online psychiatry is an essential support that can link you to the help you need from the comfort of your home. It helps you avoid the difficulty of commuting to an office or finding childcare support, or taking time off of work to see a mental health professional.
Psychiatrists are typically state-licensed, trained medical doctors who are authorized to diagnose mental health conditions, prescribe medications when necessary, and create treatment plans. An online psychiatrist is a mental health professional who provides their support services via the internet. These services can occur through text, chat, and video platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime, or Duo.
An online psychiatrist can evaluate your symptoms and coordinate with your primary care physician. Online psychiatrists can:
Signing up for an online psychiatrist should be an easy process, depending on the provider. Usually, you begin by filling out an intake form with contact information and assessment questions.
Some online treatments occur in real time, providing a live interaction between you and the mental health professional, such as a video chat or text. Other treatments may occur over online communication tools, which the professional reviews and responds to later.
Online psychiatry is legitimate, affordable, and efficient. Clinical outcomes are on par with face-to-face care. You can trust the accuracy of online professionals, the effectiveness of treatment, the quality of care provided, and the confidentiality you desire. Regardless of method, in-person or virtual, the most important condition of clinical efficacy is your relationship with the clinician.
There are a variety of reasons to seek psychiatric support. These can include many diagnosable mental health conditions, such as:
You might seek out support from a psychiatrist for numerous challenging mental health concerns, including:
Online therapy allows you access to mental health care while limiting physical interaction, a much safer system during the ongoing pandemic.
Online psychiatrists have less overhead from administration and facility costs and can pass such savings on to you in modified fees. You can save on transportation costs to and from the session
Online psychiatry can bridge the gap if your area has limited access to psychiatrists or you have mobility issues that make traveling to an office difficult.
Research has shown that online mental health support is effective for a wide range of age groups, from children to older adults.
Ask these questions as you consider whether online therapy is the right approach for you:
There are a number of contributing factors that influence the cost for online treatment including the type of treatment, type of session, and the qualifications of the psychiatrist. Insurance may cover online sessions. Check with your insurance to find out what kind of coverage you have access to.
Some clinicians offer services on a sliding scale or income-based consideration which is beneficial for clients where cost might be a serious barrier to accessing support.
Usually, a psychiatrist would conduct an in-person assessment prior to prescribing medication. This is especially necessary when working with controlled substances which are federally regulated and can only be prescribed by a doctor who has met you in person. However, largely in response to the coronavirus pandemic, psychiatrists have been granted temporary permission to prescribe controlled substances as medication to online patients. If you are prescribed medication by your online psychiatrist, make sure to discuss any possible side effects and a safety plan to ensure support.
Online psychiatry is an effective and convenient way to access mental health care and may be an ideal support for you.
Learn more from the sources used in this article: