The Case for Telemental Health for Improving the Accessibility and Quality of Children's Mental Health Services

J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2016 Apr;26(3):186-91. doi: 10.1089/cap.2015.0055. Epub 2016 Feb 9.


Objective: Children's mental health problems collectively impose a staggering public health burden. However, the quality of regionally accessible children's mental healthcare varies greatly, with youth in rural and other remote communities particularly underserved. Promoting knowledge and skill in telemental health (TMH) is critical to meaningfully overcoming traditional geographic barriers to children's mental healthcare.

Methods: To introduce this special section, we review the increasing need for child and adolescent mental health services, the decreasing child mental health workforce, and the role that TMH can play in new models of care.

Results: Authors in this special edition are experienced TMH innovators and providers, and offer expert perspectives on the current and evolving status of TMH practice in child and adolescent mental health. The articles in this collection draw on leading TMH examples, using a range of interventions implemented across diverse TMH settings, to systematically address the critical technical, ethical, regulatory, clinical, and service delivery aspects of TMH care. These articles strategically outline the key considerations requisite for effectively incorporating TMH into children's mental healthcare Conclusions: TMH is a rapidly developing service delivery model that is already beginning to innovate systems of care to meet the expanding mental healthcare needs of the nation's children.

Publication types

  • Introductory Journal Article

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Telemedicine / methods*