Healthcare Technology Featured Article

March 18, 2021

The Mental Health Advantages of Telemedicine for College Students

Technology has changed lives for the better. One example of that is the way therapists, counselors, and other mental health care providers offer services to patients. College students can especially stand to benefit from meeting providers virtually.

About Telemedicine

With telemedicine, it is possible to offer mental care virtually over any distance. One of the main advantages is that it offers care to those who might not have accessed them otherwise. Today, counselors can interact with clients with many technological tools, like text messaging, video conferencing, websites, chat rooms, apps, or email. No matter how you decide to interact, these providers can deliver care that impacts students in a positive manner.

Making Healthcare More Accessible

Telehealth lets college students secure mental health services, even if they attend school in a more remote area. There might not be as many counselors in these areas. For instance, areas like Alaska are more rural. However, some areas let mental healthcare providers from other states practice in the borders, and telehealth allows these counselors to do so.

Even if the area is not that remote, there can still be delays in treatment. After seeking help, students might have to wait a couple of weeks before a mental healthcare provider is available. However, when using technology, there are not as many barriers that cause these longer wait times. That’s partly because remote appointments broaden the list of providers to choose from.

So, if you're a student in Dallas, you don’t have to pick only from those in your area. You might meet remotely with someone working in the Houston area. And more states today are loosening their geographic restrictions, meaning you may be able to work with an out-of-state provider too. And since the counselor also saves time by meeting virtually, they may be able to take on more patients.

Saving Time

When you are in college, you likely have limited time on your hands. And if you have to travel to get the help you need, you may feel that there are not enough hours in the day to set up and attend an appointment. But telehealth reduces the travel time to just a couple of seconds to walk to the computer. You won’t need to worry about transportation or costs related to it. That makes it a college-budget friendly option. Since you won’t need to invest as much time into the appointment, you will not need to worry as much about skipping classes or taking away time from homework.

Making it Easier to Get Help

One barrier many college students face when seeking mental health care is the stigma surrounding it. And there might be more stigma in rural areas, making students reluctant to go to a physical office. Many patients feel more comfortable meeting with a provider from the comfort and privacy of their homes. They might be more willing to open up about their struggles than if they were sitting in an unfamiliar office. Having a video or phone call with a counselor might reduce your anxiety about getting help, making you more willing to accept it.

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