In rural communities, primary care providers continue to provide mental health services, and about 70% of children and adolescents identified to have a psychiatric disorder never receive treatment. A telehealth model for providing integrated mental health services in a school-based health clinic has the potential to increase access to specialized care for the most vulnerable youths. This column provides an overview of the strategies used to implement and integrate such a model in West Virginia. Operationalization, barriers, challenges, and judicious resource use are discussed. Appropriate reimbursement for services and state-specific legislation to ensure consistent revenue to sustain the program are considered.
Keywords: Rural psychiatric services; School based Mental health; Telecommunications.