The shortage of mental health providers across the country — especially for children and adolescents — is well documented. While there are a variety of proposals that may increase access to behavioral healthcare providers, many of these proposals don’t address the geographical imbalance of child psychiatrists in the workforce; some 70% of U.S. counties have no child psychiatrists. This means that many families still face months-long wait times for new appointments and substantial travel barriers to see a provider in person.
To address this issue, organizations across the U.S. are partnering with telepsychiatry companies to improve access to mental healthcare in their communities, providing care to those who need it most.
Hathaway-Sycamores teams with telepsychiatry provider to serve at-risk kids
Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services — a CMHC with a mission to cultivate hope and resilience to enrich the well-being of children, adults, families, and communities — is one of many organizations that was challenged to continue providing behavioral healthcare despite a shortage of pediatric psychiatrists. With the pandemic and the introduction of social-distancing requirements, telepsychiatry was a valuable tool to ensure that they could still provide access to mental healthcare to their LA-based patient population. Their long-standing partnership with Iris Telehealth enabled Hathaway-Sycamores to adapt and scale their provision of mental health services.
A key benefit? Under a telehealth model, cancellation and no-show rates for appointments have declined from about 25% to about 15%.
A safe, virtual space can be the bridge that makes quality healthcare — behavioral or otherwise — accessible to underserved communities. For the portion of patient populations that can be safely treated remotely, telepsychiatry is here to stay.
To learn more about the partnership between Hathaway-Sycamores and Iris, you can find the original article here. To learn more about Hathaway-Sycamores, you can visit their website here. And of course, if you’re interested in learning more about how Iris Telehealth can partner with your organization to increase access to mental health services in your community, feel free to contact us in the form below!