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Telehealth to Help Those Struggling With Mental Health

Local News

With so many people experiencing drastic changes in their daily lives it may cause a strain on mental health.

Technology is being used as a tool to help those coping with these uncertain times.

Since the outbreak of coronavirus, it seems each day more and more services are becoming out of reach.

What does that mean for those dealing with mental health who depend on therapists, psychiatrists and counselors?

“I want to help people when they need me, not in two months from then. So this gives me and them a lot of flexibility,” said Psychiatrist Gabriela Balf-Soran, MD, MPH.

Telehealth allows medical professionals to help patients through technology leading to a new form of therapy and counseling since more and more people are staying home.

“To me, it feels very comfortable. It really feels like we’re in the same place together having a conversation together. We can see each other’s facial expressions. We can see each other’s, you know, body language,” said Mental Health Counselor Greg Molinaro.

Molinaro walked us through what a telehealth session with him looks like.

He sends out a link to his patients and then they sign in and wait for him in a virtual waiting room.

“I could wrap up my one session, reach over click on the person waiting in the waiting room and they’ll come into the session very seamlessly,” said Molinaro.

Using various ways of communication through video chat, phone calls and emails people can receive the tools they need to help them through their daily lives.

“One of the nice things that we have the opportunity to do is now bring telehealth to clients on their home device, in their homes. We have not always been able to do that in the past, this is now the chance for clients to see what is available to them through telehealth,” explained John Butgereit, the Telehealth Coordinator for North Dakota Department of Health Services.

This way of treatment also allows professionals to treat patients who live in rural communities by eliminating travel time.

Gov. Doug Burgum signed an executive order that will allow the expansion of telehealth to North Dakota residents during the COVID 19 pandemic, in order to limit in-person sessions.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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