• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 48s

Telemental health at your fingertips

By Ivanhoe Newswire 6:06 PM July 28, 2015

It’s likely that all of us, sometime in our lives will either know someone coping with a mental illness or we’ll experience it ourselves. But 60 percent of adults and 50 percent of youth ages 8 to 15 who have a mental illness got no help last year. What can we do to get help for more people?

When 12-year-old Xavier Davidson meets with his psychiatrist it’s as easy as opening up his laptop.

Vashaun Omar Williams, MD, psychiatrist at Reaching Maximum Potential in Wesley Chapel, Florida’s office is a three-hour round trip drive from Xavier’s home, but a secure video conferencing line eliminates that distance with a few computer strokes.

Monique Davidson, Xavier’s Mother said, “His behavior is way better and I think that’s because he’s been active in basketball.”

Monique says managing her son’s ADHD is so much easier now. She can often set up a same-day appointment.

Anna Baznik, president/CEO of IMPOWER in Orlando, Florida, told Ivanhoe, “And that reason is because our practitioners can be anywhere, and our client can be anywhere.”

Baznik heads the nonprofit group that’s setting up telepsychiatry throughout Florida. For people who live hours away from the nearest psychiatrist, this provides a lifeline.

“Some of our clients are Medicaid clients and transportation is an issue, missing work is an issue, taking kids out of school is an issue” she explained.

You may think the video sessions lack an important human touch, but Baznik says when it comes to treating children and teens, video-conferencing actually is more effective.

Baznik said, “Practitioners are getting much more information from the children because they’re much more comfortable on iPhones and on social media, so they’re opening up more.”

Another benefit of telepsychiatry: Far fewer appointments are canceled. A study from East Carolina University showed only seven to 10 percent of telehealth appointments are cancelled, compared to 35 to 42 percent of office appointments. Prescribing most medication can also be done through telepsychiatry because doctors can email or call into a patient’s pharmacy. United healthcare, Oscar, WellPoint and some BlueCross BlueShield plans have also adopted telemedicine programs recently.

Latest Stories

  • APD: Motorcycle struck car in Old Seward Highway injury crash

    by Chris Klint on Jul 25, 14:53

    Anchorage police are still investigating a collision that left two people injured on the Old Seward Highway Saturday evening, when their motorcycle crashed into a convertible turning onto the highway. Police spokeswoman Renee Oistad had no update Tuesday on the conditions of Eric and Melanie Friedrich, those injured in the wreck at Old Seward and […]

  • Travel Tuesday: The Kratt brothers in Alaska

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 25, 14:44

    If you’ve got kids, you likely know the Kratt brothers — hosts of Zoboomafoo and the Wild Kratts on PBS. The creative adventuring duo is in Alaska this week, to bring a taste of Alaska, in real time. Hosts Chris and Martin Kratt and the PBS crew have cameras and correspondents spread out across the state to […]

  • News

    Dimond Boulevard closed near Jewel Lake after gunfire inside suidical man’s home

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jul 25, 14:27

    Part of Dimond Boulevard in South Anchorage has been shut down Tuesday afternoon east of Jewel Lake Road, after police said a suicidal man inside a nearby home had fired a gun. Police were asking people to avoid the closed section of Dimond between Arlene and Blackberry streets, spokeswoman Renee Oistad said in a statement. […]

  • News

    Captain rescued from capsize near Kodiak jumps back in to save a crewman

    by Chris Klint on Jul 25, 13:14

    A capsized fishing vessel’s captain jumped back into frigid waters north of Kodiak after being rescued to save one of his crewmen, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The dramatic rescue, caught on camera by a rescue helicopter, took place Monday afternoon in Kupreanof Strait according to a statement from Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer […]

  • News

    Senate opens debate on health care reform, despite ‘no’ vote from Murkowski

    by CBS News on Jul 25, 10:54

    Alaska’s senior U.S. senator, Lisa Murkowski, voted against opening Senate debate on health care reform in a highly anticipated decision Tuesday — but the final decision was ultimately made by Vice President Mike Pence. CBS News reported that Murkowski, along with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) opposed opening debate on the American Health Care Act on […]

  • News

    King crab fishery to open for 5 days in Juneau area

    by Associated Press on Jul 25, 10:36

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – It has been six years since it was legal to catch and haul home a pot full of red or blue king crab out of Juneau area waters. KTOO Public Media reports the Department of Fish and Game said Friday in a release the summer personal use red and blue king […]

  • Immigrant trapped in stifling San Antonio trailer says they shared one breathing hole

    by CBS News on Jul 25, 9:09

    We’re hearing the first accounts from survivors of human smuggling tragedy in San Antonio Texas. They describe their journey from Mexico to the back of a sweltering tractor trailer. When Adan Lara Vega and six people climbed into the back of that trailer in Laredo, Texas, he says it was pitch black and already full. An hour […]

  • News

    Kodiak mayor not pleased with plans for city’s DA position

    by Associated Press on Jul 25, 6:58

    KODIAK, Alaska (AP) – An Alaska city’s district attorney’s office is down its lead position, and officials say a replacement will not be hired. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Monday the Director of the Alaska Department of Law’s Criminal Division, John Skidmore, says instead of hiring another district attorney to replace former Kodiak District Attorney […]