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Telemental health

What is telemental health?

In the traditional world of health care, people in rural or remote areas often must travel many miles to seek treatment and help. Telemental health programs take advantage of modern technology to ensure clients can get the help they need without leaving their community. Technology used can range from a simple telephone call to more advanced technology like client portals and mobile devices. Most often, telemental health services are delivered through video-conferences linking clients with mental health professionals and other health professionals.

Issues for service providers and professionals

We are constantly exploring ways to support and expand telemental health services available to our clients. If you believe your client may benefit from this mode of service delivery or if you are a health professional interested in providing services via telemental health to VAC clients, please consider the following points:

Client suitability and treatment options

Veterans must be deemed appropriate by you, their clinician, to receive mental health services via telemental health before we offer it as an alternative to travelling for in-person sessions. Suitability for telemental health is based on your clinical judgement, case-by-case and session-by-session. Concern for your client’s safety and their ability to accomplish therapeutic goals are the primary factors that influence decisions about client suitability. Clients who accept the telemental health option retain the right to revert to in-person sessions at any time. Accepting the telemental health service delivery option does not limit or alter the range of services that are available to the client.

Licensing and referrals

To address the issue of mental health professionals providing services to a client that is not a resident of the same province or territory, mental health professionals must be licensed to practice in their own province or territory, and the province or territory in which the client resides. This is in keeping with existing professional codes of practice. If unsure, you should consult with your professional regulatory body.

If you offer telemental health services, please advise Medavie Blue Cross that you provide this mode of service so we can appropriately direct clients to you through our district offices and case managers.

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