Patients receive mental health help through Skype - Dallas News |

Patients receive mental health help through Skype

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Skype is not only putting people in touch with each other over the internet, it is also providing some with much needed mental health care.

Doctor Harold Duncan has been counseling people for thirty one years. He is now holding Skype sessions for those patients who cannot come to him.

"One of my Skype clients is a lady who is a missionary in Russia, it's kind of hard for her to get here for her sessions but she and I talk every month," said Duncan.

"Allison" lives in South Carolina and says her Skype therapy with Dallas counselor Kelly Antwine works with her busy schedule.

"I've been to couple of therapists around here and it is not that they are bad, but this works better for me. I think it is a lot about who the person is you are working with, said "Allison".

Antwine says seeing patients via Skype, is as effective as being face to face in an office.

"I see her, I see her body language, she sees me, we have gotten very comfortable with each other over the internet through Skype. It is every bit as effective as having someone sitting here in the office," said Antwine.

The federal government is sending about $20 Million to Dallas County for alternatives to hospitals for people in behavioral crisis.

"At the core of that is expanded use of telehealth. We'll see nodes in the jail at Parkland clinics, at The Bridge, at the city detention center, "said Dallas County Criminal Justice Director, Ron Stretcher.

Matt Roberts is president of Mental Health America of Greater Dallas. Roberts says video conferencing or telepsychiatry is a useful tool.

"If it is a tool that helps folks get access to care , if it is a tool that helps in rural areas, that's a good thing," said Roberts.

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