In the midst of what is uncertain and anxiety provoking for most people, the last thing our society needs is a shift in how we receive support for mental health. Unfortunately, the impacts of COVID-19 span far and wide, even leaving its mark on mental healthcare, rehabilitation, and psychological support.

 

Contributors: Peter Hayton, Clinical Director and Emily Hill, Communications at The Banyans

 

Does telehealth work?

In the midst of what is uncertain and anxiety provoking for most people, the last thing our society needs is a shift in how we receive support for mental health. Unfortunately, the impacts of COVID-19 span far and wide, even leaving its mark on mental healthcare, rehabilitation, and psychological support.

If you are feeling unsure, sceptical or even wary of telehealth and its ability to provide real support and change, you are not alone. Unfortunately, it seems the jury is out, with 2017 article from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) citing that although patient satisfaction can be achieved using telehealth models, it’s efficiency and efficacy showed mixed results.

However more recent findings from 2019 reported that “62% percent of patients said the quality of care via telehealth was the same as in-person visits, and 21% said the quality of telehealth visits was better than in-person visits.”

 

Telehealth options ca be daunting.
Telehealth is a flexible way to receive treatment.

 

Pivoting towards telehealth: everything you need to know.

As health services, including mental healthcare and rehabilitation pivot towards online service offerings, many people are learning about telehealth for the first time. The Banyans however, has been using telehealth for years to deliver post residential support to guests from throughout Australia and the world.

With an online method of treatment delivery becoming a widespread option in recent weeks, people are seeking answers to common questions about telehealth.

The Banyans spoke with Clinical Director Peter Hayton to debunk some myths about telehealth and helps answer your most common questions about online treatment.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Telehealth

 

Telehealth is a way of consulting with your clinician over a digital platform rather than physically face to face. Often these sessions are offered via robust, user-friendly platforms such as Zoom or Skype. Some people prefer phone calls, which can also be a mode of delivery.

Phone calls can be a method of telehealth.
Some people prefer to engage in therapy over the telephone over a video platform.

 

Telehealth works by connecting with your therapist via an online or telecommunications platform. Just like you would with a normal appointment, you schedule your appointment time in advance. Your therapist will then provide you with a log in link to the video session, or call you via telephone at the scheduled time.

Zoom is a popular platform for telehealth.
Zoom is a popular platform for telehealth.

 

According to Clinical Director Peter Hayton, “telehealth works with most therapies quite effectively, and reports similar results to face to face consultations.” He highlights that there are some therapies, like Equine Therapies that are tricky.

 

At The Banyans, each of our therapists are trained specifically to tailor your session for a telehealth model of delivery.

 

“At The Banyans, each of our therapists are trained specifically to tailor your session for a telehealth model of delivery,” Peter affirms. In addition to traditional psychology and talking based therapies, the telehealth offering of The Banyans extends to ancillary therapies like neurologic music therapy, art therapy, Yoga, and personal training sessions.

 

“Firstly, you’re not in-office with your therapist,” Peter jokes. “Apart from that, many aspects of your therapy are quite similar using a telehealth delivery model.”

Peter does highlight the fact that there are some additional considerations the patient needs to make prior to a telehealth session. “When you are engaging in in-office or face-to-face treatment, your therapist intentionally designs and prepares the physical environment” Peter explains.

“In a telehealth situation, both the patient and the therapist needs to think about these things – including aspects like privacy, a quiet space that is not cluttered or distracting, a comfortable temperature, comfortable seating and more.”

 

You don't need to go overboard when preparing your area for telehealth.
When preparing for your telehealth session, make sure you have access to a private, quiet space.

 

However, he also emphasizes that you don’t need to go overboard. “You simply need to be in a space that is conducive to sensitivity and focus.” He describes a time where he has engaged in a telehealth sessions from the corner of his bedroom, with his laptop on another chair.

 

The best idea is to give it a try. “We would recommend the same kind of approach when engaging with any new therapist,” Peter suggests. “The first consult is a good opportunity to test out the therapy situation with that person.”

All guests of The Banyans engage in a free consultation before they commit to a residential or telehealth treatment program. You can also purchase three or five sessions before agreeing to a full treatment program. If this is something you are interested in, our Intake Team can help arrange your first consultation.

TALK TO OUR TEAM TODAY

 

Telehealth is praised by treating professionals due to it’s robust and flexible attributes. It is a form of therapy that reduces barriers to treatment by overcoming issues of accessibility and time constraints.

 

Telehealth is a great option for people who are unable to travel.
Telehealth is a great option for people who are unable to travel.

 

Peter does advise that telehealth programs are not for everybody. “In some instances, telehealth would not work for individuals that need medical support, or wish to engage in more tactile treatments like EMDR or Equine Therapy.”

 

With the rapidly developing and user friendly nature of video and telecommunications technologies, most people are able to engage easily in a telehealth method of delivery. Peter comments that “the technology and software used for telehealth is chosen because it is easy to use, and largely accessible.”

Today's technology means that it can be easy to engage in telehealth.
Todays technology means that it can be easy to engage in telehealth.

 

Your therapist can also talk you through if you’re having trouble. “It can be a good opportunity to learn and develop your resilience!” Peter encourages.

 

 

The Banyans offers telehealth options of treatment.
The Banyans offers telehealth options of treatment.

 

Telehealth options at The Banyans

In a digitally connected world like ours, there are no reasons why you can’t receive the support you need. Online and telehealth programs at The Banyans offer you the tools to thrive again.

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