Use of Technology in Mental Health

Technology is a significant and even imperative part of daily life for most people. Computers, phones, tablets, and other “smart” devices have long since become mainstream and utilized across all sectors of society, all cultures and ages. These devices keep us all constantly connected to the internet and to each other, making virtually any piece of information available to us at any time. Applications or "apps" on computers and smart devices have digitized various services to make them more convenient. It often seems as though anything in life is already a ‘click’ away, and the amount of tasks that can be accomplished online seems to expands everyday. As a growing number of services are becoming available online, mental health has been gradually following suit.

Health providers from all fields have used technology professionally for years, beginning with the use of the computer for internal communication and pagers to reach doctors urgently, to now using electronic medical records and patient portals which can create ready access for patients to contact their doctor and review medical information on demand. Likewise, therapists have also utilized phone calls to conduct therapy at a distance and “check in” on their patients in between office visits, when necessary. However, as the capabilities of technology grow,  the mental health field is grabbling with how to adapt.  What was once thought to be successful only in a face to face, in person setting, technology is  proving that mental health treatment can be effectively provided at a distance, and is now bridging large gaps in access to mental health care. Today’s  technology includes apps for both computers and wireless devices that complement or supplement treatment, websites that support talk therapy in various forms, as well as various digitized manual based treatments that can, in some cases, replace the need for face-to-face treatment. 

Resource Organizations » Technology and Mental Health » Braintree

Outside Massachusetts

American Telemedicine Association

703-373-9600

Email: info@americantelemed.org

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) is a non-profit association based in Washington DC with a membership network of more than 10,000 industry leaders and healthcare professionals.  ATA is a leading telehealth association dedicated to help with the qualityequity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world.

ATA recognizes the use of telemedicine has spread rapidly and is now becoming integrated into the ongoing operations of hospitals, specialty departments, home health agencies, private physician offices as well as consumer’s homes and workplaces. This organization provides the "Learning Center" which provides courses with toolkits, webinars and recorded conferences to help any organization or provider looking to provide telehealth services be aware of advancements in the industry and best practices for patient care.  

ATA also is dedicated to helping to advocate for access to telehealth, and consumers can find out  more about their states policies, coverage, and even current work being done in the legislative bodies in their area so they can help to advocate for services to be available.

Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers

Email: rayd@cchpca.org

Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) have been established to provide assistance, education and information to organizations and individuals who are actively providing or interested in providing health care at a distance. Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) across the nation work collaboratively to provide information and assistance to all requesters. Our 12 regional and 2 national TRCs are expertly staffed and have come together under one consortium to forefront the advancement and accessibility of telehealth with a focus in rural healthcare

mHealth for Mental Health

206-543-3750

Technology is redefining how we study, assess, and treat mental illnesses. Mobile health (mHealth) is bringing cutting edge treatments out of the clinics and research centers and into the hands of the people who need them most. Among the technologies that have been developed are apps designed to assist those with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) to prevent relapse and assess symptoms, including auditory and visual hallucinations.  They are also developing technologies that can assist those in parts of the world where mental health care is not readily available including Ghana and serving Palestinians in the West Bank.  They have also developed technologies for those serving in the military and are researching how mobile interventions can compare to traditional clinic based interventions for Serious Mental Illness.

Led by Dr. Dror Ben-Zeev at the University of Washington (dbenzeev@uw.edu), the group is dedicated to the development and testing of innovative mHealth approaches that are designed for real-world clinical populations, experiencing real-world challenges, in real-world environments. mHealth works closely with patients, practitioners, and healthcare organizations to create and study novel mHealth technologies as well as innovative methods for using existing technology to enhance mental health. 

National Consortium of TeleHealth Research Centers

1-800-379-202

Email: netrc@mcdph.org

The Northeast Telehealth Resource Center (NETRC) has a mission to increase access to quality health care services for rural and medically underserved populations through Telehealth. We provide FREE, individualized technical assistance, education, and other resources in collaboration with the Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers, MCD Public Health, and the University of Vermont. Our service area includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, but we gladly accept calls no matter where you are located. Learn more by clicking on the button below to visit our website.

Northeast Telehealth Resource Center offers:

  • Short and long term technical assistance services for organizations and individuals
  • Education for the telehealth workforce
  • Access to educational materials
  • Access to specialized tools + templates
  • Access to telehealth experts willing to share their experiences
  • Monthly newsletter updates and other alerts on telehealth in the northeast
  • Anuual Regional Conference to faciliatate learning and networking
  • Support for collaboration that fosters a favorable environment for telehealth

National Telehealth Policy Resource Center

877-707-7172

Email: info@cchpca.org

The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to maximize telehealth’s ability to improve health outcomes, care delivery, and cost-effectiveness.  Originally focused exclusively on California telehealth policy, CCHP garnered extensive attention with its Telehealth Model Statute Report, which became the basis for the California Telehealth Advancement Act of 2011 (AB 415). This Act now allows all licensed health professionals to utilize telehealth, removes restrictions and barriers to providing telehealth, and expands the locations where telehealth can take place. CCHP is a project of the Public Health Institute, a non-profit, private organization dedicated to promoting health, well-being and quality of life for people throughout California, across the nation and around the world.

Neuroscape

Email: neuroscape@ucsf.edu

Neuroscape is a translational neuroscience center at UCSF engaged in both development and research to advance cutting-edge technologies as novel brain assessment and optimization tools. We also support the neuroscience efforts of others by providing unique, state-of-the-art development studios and research facilities to drive the rapid translation of neuroscience into real-world solutions.  Neuroscape’s unique multidisciplinary approach involves the development of custom-designed, closed-loop systems that integrate recent technological advances in software (e.g., 3D video game engines, multimodal recording and brain computer interface algorithms) with the latest innovations in hardware (e.g., virtual reality, motion capture, GPU computing, wearable physiological recordings, and transcranial brain stimulation).  To learn more about the technologies that are currently being developed and evaluated, visit: https://neuroscape.ucsf.edu/technology/#ace

Rural Health Information Hub

1-800-270-1898

Email: info@ruralhealthinfo.org

The Rural Health Information Hub, formerly the Rural Assistance Center, is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to be a national clearinghouse on rural health issues. We are committed to supporting healthcare and population health in rural communities.

Telehealth Use in Rural Healthcare - About This Guide: Telehealth has great potential to expand access and improve the quality of rural healthcare. It can reduce burdens for patients, such as travel to receive specialty care, and improve monitoring, timeliness, and communications within the healthcare system. This topic guide is designed to serve both as an introduction to Telehealth and as a reference that collects the “best of the best” resources: selected documents, organizations, tools, funding opportunities, news items, events, and program examples.

 

 

 

SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions: Telebehavioral Health Training and Technical Assistance

Email: integration@thenationalcouncil.org

The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions Telebehavioral Health Training and Technical Assistance Series can help safety net providers and rural health clinics understand and adopt telebehavioral health services. The implementation of telehealth services for mental health and substance use allows for increased access to these services, particularly in rural or underserved areas.

Divided into six sessions, the training provides the tools and resources necessary to identify and implement a telebehavioral health program. Each educational session includes a Q&A component with telebehavioral health experts and associated resources for further exploration and information.