In underserved rural communities, students needing mental health services for anxiety, depression, trauma, and neurodevelopmental disorders are often put on long waiting lists or forced to travel great distances for treatment, in some cases more than 100 miles. In an effort to mitigate these barriers, Margaretville Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), combines in-person therapy and a special telepsychiatry program to ensure that students in Delaware County receive care.
Licensed mental health clinicians from the hospital offer free assessments and psychotherapy in public schools. If the clinician identifies a need, a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist provides evaluations and medication management for the students through the WMCHealth eHealth telemedicine program at no cost. The psychiatrist communicates with each student, his or her parent or guardian, and the clinician through secure videoconferencing technology.
Combining WMCHealth’s telepsychiatry program with Margaretville Hospital’s face-to-face therapeutic services has improved patient outcomes, clinicians and parents say. In satisfaction surveys, parents consistently gave the program the highest rating of “Very Satisfied” and indicated they would recommend the program to family and friends.
For more information, contact Kenneth Oclatis, Ph.D., Program Administrator, at (845) 750-2610.