Telehealth: a child and family-friendly approach to mental health-care reform

J Telemed Telecare. 2008;14(5):225-6. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2008.008001.


Limited access to paediatric mental health services and high drop-out rates from treatment result in poor health outcomes for families with children with mental health problems. New ways of delivering care are required. Telehealth is a promising approach. The Family Help programme employs manualized, distance treatment by telephone. Participants in the Family Help programme (both adults and children) have reported a strong therapeutic alliance with their telephone coach. Participants also described how during treatment sessions they felt comfortable and safe in their own home; they did not feel stigmatized or judged; they had little apprehension about self-disclosure and they felt that treatment was delivered at their convenience. Treatment calls were often scheduled after typical working hours. Attrition rates were found to be very low and children actively engaged in the structured, distance treatment. Evidence-based, distance delivery using non-professionals is a promising approach to the delivery of paediatric mental health care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Community Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Health Care Reform
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Remote Consultation / organization & administration
  • Telephone