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The Future of Mental Health Care: Digital Health

“Everyone deserves to realize their fullest potential toward health and well-being,
and good mental health care is essential to this”.

Dr. Arpan Waghray of Providence St. Joseph Health is also spot on in this video discussing the importance of integrated care toward long-term overall health. The future of healthcare must challenge the way we look at patients and begin integrating mental/behavioral health into general care.

More and more we are understanding that mental health effects every aspect of our lives and to exclude it from general healthcare can be detrimental. I know that was the case with my son back in 2012 when we almost lost him to suicide.

As a sophomore in college he was a “healthy” young man – that is IF you didn’t take into account his mental/behavioral health issues. Physically he was the epitome of health, but so much was going on behind the mask he showed the world. Like many others who suffer from mental health issues, the idea of getting help for his depression never crossed his mind. The stigma surrounding that was to great. And he will tell you that knowing who to reach out to and how to access care was even more daunting. The fear of being a burden or labeled as depressed and suicidal stopped him from reaching out and he quickly spiraled into a hopeless and critical state. Thankfully the quick actions of the university crisis center saved his life, but the battle didn’t stop there.

As with any diagnosis of this type, ongoing treatment became key to my son’s health, recovery and overall well-being. But understanding the treatment options, insurance coverage and best ways to access to care after the initial crisis was quite a challenge.

You can imagine how relieved I was to learn that places such as Providence St. Joseph Health not only understands the trials and issues families face on a daily basis getting access to care, and are actively changing the face of treatment including mental/behavioral health issues.

“At Providence St. Joseph Health, we’re delivering health care when, where and how it fits into the busy lives of consumers. This has required digital innovation to serve patients on demand and, increasingly, online. We are also using digital innovation to increase access to care, make it more affordable and improve health for everyone, including the poor and vulnerable.”

Imagine the world that opens up to the college student, elderly and home-bound patient or the individual living in a remote area with a limited number of qualifies providers. No more will the lack of specialists have anyone waiting months for treatment. Technology is quickly becoming a real and viable option that will bridge the gap in healthcare.

To learn more about how Providence St. Joseph Health is making strides and leading the way in telemedicine, take some time to:

As someone who was a bit cautious on how effective using technology for mental/behavioral health care, I can tell you that the scope and magnitude of possibilities has me excited for that veteran who is fearful to reach out because of the stigma associated with needing care or as in my son’s case that student who lives far from home and wants to continue making progress with their therapist who is miles away. The impact can really be the difference between life and death.

What are your thoughts on these digital innovations in health care?
I’d love to continue the discussion!


This is sponsored conversation in partnership with OMMedia and Providence St. Joseph Health.  Connect with them here

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