A new school year is starting, which means lots of new experiences for children. Whether it be having a new teacher, starting at a new school, or reuniting with friends after a long summer, emotions can range from excitement to anticipation. But not all those feelings might be positive.
According to the Center for Diseases Control, approximately 17 million children between the ages of 3 and 17 have been diagnosed with multiple mental health challenges, including anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression.
When these symptoms go untreated, it can have a lasting effect on a child’s wellbeing. In the school setting, it can affect academic performance and other experiences that should be a new school year otherwise exciting. One option for children is mental wellness care with a licensed professional. However, there are only 8,300 practicing child and adolescent psychiatrists in the United States available to serve the 17 million children in need of mental healthcare. Is it possible for providers to help that many patients?
This is where telebehavioral health resources come in, such as the resources offered by InSight Telepsychiatry. Telebehavioral health services allow children and families to access specialists by video through devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. These services enable providers to connect with patients from all over the United States, offer flexible scheduling and help children receive the care they need.
Introducing children to mental health care by way of technology isn’t too difficult in today’s technology-filled world. Studies link telebehavioral health treatment for children and families with fewer cases of mental health challenges, and patients have reported a high satisfaction rate. Since the care can be accessed from the comfort of a patient’s own home, they can seek treatment in a place familiar to them.
Telebehavioral health resources aren’t limited to the home. Schools across the country, such as ones in Florida, have begun to offer mental health resources to students. In the new school year, this can be utilized when students might be dealing with several new feelings, and teachers that might recognize these struggles can help direct students to the appropriate care. This can be especially beneficial to students who might be unable to access the services at home and prevent them from missing any class time by having services available right at school.
As more states and school districts adapt telehealth options as part of their budget, such as a recent proposal introduced in Ohio, telebehavioral health can continue to be an important resource for students and families.