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Increasing access to telemedicine to provide mental health treatments in rural Indiana



Indianapolis, Indiana – In order to increase access to mental health care, the US Department of Health and Human care is doing so in rural Indiana.

The Health Resources and Services Administration is paving the way for the transformation of mental health services in Indiana through telehealth, especially for underserved regions.

The growing accessibility of treatment through telehealth services is highlighted during National Telehealth Awareness Week. HRSA provided funding for telehealth initiatives for behavioral health services in 2022, such as therapy, addiction counseling, mental health screenings, and monitoring for anxiety and despair.

According to the HRSA, telehealth now accounts for 46% of visits for mental health. Hispanic, Black, and Asian people who have historically faced hurdles to mental health care are all benefited by this transition, as are rural and urban communities.

The Office for the Advancement of Telehealth at HHS, directed by Heather Dimeris, observes that telehealth is bridging the gap by enabling rural areas to obtain care from clinicians they couldn’t otherwise reach.

“Telehealth provides an opportunity for these rural communities to link with providers they might not otherwise be able to receive care from. So, in the case of telebehavioral health services or mental health services, through telehealth, we’re seeing that many patients are really satisfied with the increased access to care. And the outcomes for those patients receiving mental health services can be just as good as in-person care,” Dimeris said.

According to HRSA data, around 40% of behavioral healthcare is now provided digitally, which is advantageous for both adult and pediatric patients. To those who qualify, HRSA also provides free or inexpensive broadband and internet connections.

On the website of the Indiana Telehealth Network, Hoosiers who live in remote areas can find out more about telehealth services.