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Telehealth Creates Access for Hope and Healing

Female health care worker on video call

At Burrell, we believe that there is no wrong door to seeking care. No matter what an individual’s first touch with Burrell is, whether it’s walking into a clinic or picking up the phone, we get them connected to the care they need. To us, access is not just a place but a concept. Telehealth is a valuable tool that allows us to expand access to all individuals seeking care. 

Telehealth, sometimes called telemedicine, is the act of providing care remotely using video and phone calls, monitoring devices, and patient portals. It’s similar to connecting over Zoom or Google Meet. Through telehealth, we can provide secure and private communication between patients and care providers.

The prevalence of telehealth can be partly credited to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic brought many challenges and one we all remember is the lack of in-person services. Before the pandemic, most providers hadn’t completed any telehealth visits. Now, most providers have.

We’re still witnessing the ripples of the pandemic’s impact on the world’s mental health. An increased prevalence of mental disorders coupled with a shortage of psychiatrists and psychiatry providers has created an access issue not only in Boone County but across the entire country.

With telehealth, we can provide care quickly in our twenty-four-hour Behavioral Crisis Centers for individuals needing urgent care. We have similarly expanded access to school-based care via telehealth.

Telehealth is especially helpful in providing access in rural and underserved communities. Without traveling long distances, patients can connect with providers in the comfort of their homes or by coming into our local clinics and using a telehealth room. Telehealth can even be used to facilitate primary care check-ups. Virtual appointments can help ensure patients can keep their appointments, which helps keep them well.

Our team can treat a variety of common or less common behavioral health issues through telehealth. We provide outpatient care for common and complex mental health disorders as well as specialized care for sleeping disorders, eating disorders, perinatal psychiatry, child and adolescent care, autism care, addiction disorders, medical clearance for medical procedures, genetic disorders, and others.

While incredibly helpful, it’s important to note that telehealth cannot fully substitute for the in-person treatment experience. Telehealth helps fill care gaps, but in-person appointments are still necessary as they allow providers to detect new symptoms and thoroughly examine patients.

Outside of direct care, our teams use telehealth for collaboration. We integrate with outpatient therapists and psychologists, consult with other facilities and provide training, teaching, and education for medical students and trainees. While telehealth may not be the ultimate solution to access, the technology creates opportunities for care and learning where there otherwise would be none.

To start your mental health journey, visit Burrell Behavioral Health online at BurrellCenter.com

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, don’t wait. Please call or text 988.

Dr Garima Singh
Dr. Garima Singh

Dr. Garima Singh is the Chief Medical Officer at Burrell Behavioral Health.

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