Despite the staggering physical, economic, and societal costs of mental health conditions in the United States, there continues to be a significant gap in mental health service, as access lags behind the demand for them. The uneven distribution of mental health service providers contributes to this gap, making it necessary to incorporate novel approaches to the delivery of mental health services. Telepsychiatry has proven to be one of the more innovative approaches for improving access to mental health services. This article focuses on six challenges that have historically impeded larger-scale adoption of telepsychiatry: limited training, limitations of existing research, security and technology issues, clinical practice challenges, licensure, and reimbursement restrictions. The article discusses recent developments, ongoing advances, and future directions to overcoming these barriers. [Psychiatr Ann. 2019;49(2):82–88.]
Hossam Mahmoud, MD, MPH, is the Medical Director, Regroup Telehealth, Tufts University School of Medicine. Emily L. Vogt, BA, is a Postbaccalaureate Fellow, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism. Mireille Sers, MLIS, is a Research Support and Systems Librarian, International Development Research Centre. Omar Fattal, MD, MPH, is an Associate Director of Inpatient Psychiatry, Bellevue Hospital. Suha Ballout, PhD, RN, is an Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Boston.
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