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When to Consider a Telepsychiatrist Online and How to Find the Best One

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This article will provide guidance on when to consider online psychiatry services, how to find reputable telepsychiatrists, and what benefits you can reap for your mental health with a telepsychiatrist online.

Introduction

Telepsychiatry is a way of receiving mental health treatment through video conferencing. You can receive a wide range of services, including education, medication management, therapy, and evaluations, regardless of your location.

With telepsychiatry, you get access to a range of healthcare without having to deal with barriers such as getting time off work, finding childcare, or dealing with transportation. You still benefit from direct interactions with a psychiatrist and other clinicians through live video and audio communication.

Covid encouraged telehealth, offering distance healthcare with modern technology, and that trend has continued ever since. Today more clients than ever are benefiting from telepsychiatry online. Many health insurance providers and state legislators are recognizing the benefits of telepsychiatrist services and encouraging clients to seek mental health treatment when and where possible, including online. 

female telepsychiatrist doing online session

Benefits of a Telepsychiatrist

There are several benefits to receiving treatment online. It’s more convenient and affordable and offers access to more services than you might get where you live.

Convenience

Telepsychiatrist services provide better convenience. When your mental health services are accessible on your phone, you don’t have to find time off work. You don’t have to budget for child care, leave work early, or miss other activities so that you can go to an appointment that’s far away.

This also means that there are reduced transportation barriers. People who don’t have a car or need services outside of public transit won’t have to drive a long time, hitch a ride from someone else, or spend a lot of money on car rentals or trains. With a telepsychiatrist online, you can get help wherever you are without having to go anywhere.

No Geographical Limits

There are no geographical limits. You can get access to mental health treatment no matter where you are. You don’t have to be in town; you can be on vacation or traveling for work and still reach out to your therapist when the need arises.

Specialized Care

Tangentially, you don’t need to work with a psychiatrist who is in your local area. You can enjoy access to specialty care that might not otherwise be available where you live. People who live in rural areas might be limited in terms of mental health services in the area and therefore face significant delays in terms of care, difficulty getting follow-ups, and continuity of care. But telepsychiatrist services online does away with all of these hiccups.

Easy Scheduling

With telepsychiatry, you can easily schedule appointments. You can also receive timely care without going to the emergency room. Many emergency rooms don’t have psychiatrists, so you might not find the services you need at your local hospital if you have a mental health emergency. However, psychiatric care is readily available for any emergency situation with online telepsychiatrists.

How to Find a Telepsychiatrist

Once you have recognized the benefits of telepsychiatrists, you might wonder how to find a telepsychiatrist.

Research Telepsychiatrist Providers

There are several resources you can use to research telepsychiatrist providers. Professional services come in many different styles. Several telepsychiatrist providers offer easy apps on your phone that simplify psychiatry sessions. They also work with several insurance providers so you can apply your health care benefits to the cost of mental health treatment.

What Factors to Consider

Once you figure out how to find a telepsychiatrist, you still have to figure out which one you want to choose. When evaluating different services, you should consider things like:

  • Licensure
  • Qualifications
  • Experience

For example, if you are struggling with schizophrenia, you might want a mental health professional who specializes in the schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders rather than someone who specializes in depression and anxiety treatment

Tangentially you’ll want to consider the qualifications and licensure of the person you choose. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications that you might not be able to get from a regular therapist, which is something to consider depending on your mental health and any mental health disorders with which you struggle.

Another aspect of licensure is the fact that psychiatrists and other clinicians are still required to be licensed in the state where their patients live. So, you might find telepsychiatrist providers working out of Ohio, but you live in Wyoming. You’ll need to make sure that the psychiatrists with whom you work are licensed to work in Wyoming.

woman working with her laptop

Read Reviews

Don’t hesitate to read reviews and testimonials from other patients. Several services that provide telepsychiatrist options have reviews and testimonials on their website, so you don’t even have to request them.

Payments

Payments are similarly important. You’ll want to check with different telepsychiatrist providers to see whether they accept your health insurance. Many states reimburse Medicaid holders for any telehealth services. 

Several private insurance providers have no geographic restrictions for mental health services. It’s up to you to coordinate with your insurance provider or have the telepsychiatrist providers do that for you. This will help you better understand what you might be expected to pay out of pocket for a copay or a deductible.

You’ll also want to review their fees and whether or not they take your health insurance. Some companies might offer payment options that can make it easier to cover the cost of treatment.

Summing Up

Telepsychiatry offers a viable option for getting mental health treatment no matter where you are. You can overcome transportation barriers, appointment issues, and a lack of available specialty care in your area.

If you are struggling to find the right type of mental health treatment, you have transportation problems, or things like anxiety are preventing you from getting in-person care, online services might be a viable alternative. 

When you work with a telepsychiatrist online, you can get access to mental health treatment no matter where you are, with specialized care for individual conditions. You can figure out how to find a telepsychiatrist by researching different telepsychiatrist providers, comparing their qualifications, reading reviews, and verifying payment options.

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