Telemental Health Professional Ethics 1.5

Telemental Health Professional Ethics 1.5

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IIn some ways, ethical practices and professionalism are even more important in the virtual space because the client is not literally in front of you.

NBCC ACEP No. 7167

Telemental health is the use of electronic means or technology to provide mental health services by any mental health discipline.  It is not a separate medical or mental health service.  It is simply a different means through which a practitioner can deliver services that have historically been delivered in person in the mental health field.  Telemental health is discipline neutral, meaning that all mental health disciplines can use the technology modality to provide services. 

The research into telemental health has consistently shown it to be an effective delivery system for mental health services.  Some studies have even found that telemental health services may actually be preferable to in-person care in certain populations and situations. Children and adolescents and veterans in particular, seem to especially benefit from the use of telemental health.  Telemental health is NOT the be-all and end-all in the delivery of therapy.  Nor is it for every client or every practitioner.  Clearly, there are limitations.  The limitations may be driven by a particular practitioner’s level of skill or confidence in treating certain cases online.  

The dearth of guidance from leading professional organizations has increased confusion and left practitioners and the clients they care for vulnerable.  Traditional standards of practice were established around the in-person therapy model. Now that telemental health has arrived, adherence to those standards and practices is being challenged and redefined. Regardless of the mode of service delivery, one thing remains constant: adherence to ethical practices and professionalism remain the same.  The goal of this course is provide knowledge of proper ethical practices in a distance relationship so that practitioners may concentrate on what they do best, treating their client’s mental illness. 

This CME course is brought to you using a “virtual classroom” that can be accessed 24/7/365 on any device connected to the internet using any network.  Once enrolled it will never leave your account and will be updated as needed.

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