Mental health services for Nunavut children and youth: Evaluating a telepsychiatry pilot project

Rural and remote health (Impact Factor: 0.88). 05/2014; 14(2):2673.
Source: PubMed


This study examines the delivery of psychiatric consultation services using videoconferencing technology to health and mental health workers in the Nunavut territory of Canada. The research provides insights into the TeleLink Mental Health Program and the delivery of professional-to-professional program consultations and continuing education seminars.
Participant observation of 12 program consultations and four continuing education sessions was conducted. Individual interviews were conducted with the consulting psychiatrist and the lead program coordinator in Nunavut. As well, a focus group was held with Nunavut workers who participated in the televideo sessions.
The study found a number of factors that facilitated or hindered the process and content of a consultation-based telepsychiatry program and its effect on building capacity among frontline staff. Four main themes emerged related to the delivery of psychiatric services via televideo: gaining access, ensuring culturally appropriate services, providing relevant continuing education, and offering stable and confidential technology.
Live interactive videoconferencing technology is an innovative and effective way of delivering specialized mental health services to professionals working in remote areas of Nunavut. Study results provide important strategies for expanding this approach to other jurisdictions in Nunavut and other Inuit regions.

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Available from: Katherine Boydell, Jun 30, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: There has been increased attention towards the burden imposed by mental disorders on children and adolescents. The present overview explores the current state of child and adolescent mental healthcare provision around the globe. Current research indicates a concerning gap in the provision of care for the child and adolescent population. The disparities between need, demand and access to youth mental healthcare are likely to be even greater in low and- middle-income countries (LAMIC), where the proportion of children and adolescents in the population is higher. The scarcity of available resources for youth mental healthcare, especially in LAMIC, represents a major obstacle to decreasing the impact of mental disorders across the lifespan. Our review highlights the discrepancy between demands and availability of mental healthcare for youth populations throughout the world. We describe some of the potential contributors to the current state of youth mental healthcare, such as problematic access to services, implementation deficiencies and inadequacy of policies. Recent innovative strategies to reduce these barriers are also presented.
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