Delivering mental health services via Skype and other web-based videoconferencing has continued a slow climb to respectability. It is becoming particularly important in public health programs like Medicaid, and in rural areas where there’s a shortage of mental health professionals.
Arkansas is the latest site of expansion in this area.
People under 21 who are dealing with mental health issues will be able to get checkups via videconferencing under a new state Medicaid proposal in Arkansas.
Initial assessments would be face-to-face, but teens and young adults diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression and attention deficit disorder would receive follow-up treatment over the Internet.
“We have psychiatrists having to drive all over the state and children traveling outside their hometown,” department spokeswoman Amy Webb told the Associated Press. “This will allow (doctors) to interact without all the traveling and give them more time to be doctors.”
Telemedicine was approve for adults 21 and older in 2000. If the proposal is approved by the state’s House and Senate Interim Committee on Public Health, the program will expand to include youths in mid-May.
* * *
Facebook time can lead to depression in young girls, a psychologist says. The more Facebook friends she has, the more likely she is to become depressed.
The reason is that girls tend to post only positive events–and reading the posts offer a distorted view of reality, Leonard Sax, author of the book, Girls on the Edge, told Fox News.
He explained: “Girls post the happy things and they turn the camera on themselves so it’s ‘look here at what I’m doing. Then they look at all the other girls’ Facebook pages, look at them being happy and think, ‘my life sucks, look at all the things those girls are doing and how much fun they’re having.’”
They don’t understand that people are intentionally trying to make themselves look good. And the focus on Facebook activity comes at the expense of forming strong personal relationships with friends in reality, not just online.