Telemental health is the use of telecommunications or videoconferencing technology to provide mental health services. It is sometimes referred to as telepsychiatry or telepsychology. Research suggests that telemental health services can be effective for many people, including, but not limited to those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.
As the need for providing virtual mental health care services has increased, providers are finding ways to use phone and videoconferencing technology to bring therapy, evaluations, interventions, and medication management to individuals where they are.
Although the practice has become much more common, especially as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, more research is needed to understand when and how telemental health services should be used.
Learn about factors to consider when using telemental health.
Many of the same considerations for finding a provider for in-person mental health services apply to finding a telemental health services provider. Considerations specific to telemental health include:
Learn more about getting help and finding a health care provider on the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Help for Mental Illnesses webpage. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator, an online tool to help you find mental health services in your area and to learn whether providers offer telemental health services.
If you are in immediate distress or are thinking about hurting yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You also can text the Crisis Text Line (HELLO to 741741) or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
National Institutes of Health
NIH Publication No. 21-MH-8155
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