WakeMed Expands Virtual Mental Health Care

WakeMed’s team of behavioral health professionals can be contacted from the primary care office using a video monitor.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 44 million adults suffer from identified mental health concerns and yet, approximately 60% don’t receive any treatment. A new and innovative approach to treatment at WakeMed aims to change that.

WakeMed now offers adult and pediatric patients real-time access to behavioral health services virtually – either during regularly scheduled appointments at any WakeMed primary care practice or from the comfort of home. For patients, this means on-demand care from experts who are ready to listen, support and discuss any mental health questions or concerns.

“The most common barriers for accessing mental health services include: cost/lack of insurance coverage, access to services, and the stigma associated with seeking care,” said Dr. Jessica Tomasula,  licensed pediatric psychologist and manager of behavioral health services at WakeMed Children’s. “This program addresses all of these concerns by making it convenient, easy and confidential for patients to get the care they need.”

This team of licensed clinicians, psychiatrists and health coaches delivers a comprehensive, integrated approach to support physical and mental health, in collaboration with WakeMed primary care providers, to help identify and address behavioral health needs including anxiety and depression, pain management, poor sleep, diet and exercise as well as stress management.

“Taking charge of our health and well-being is more important than ever as we face and overcome these challenging times together,” Tomasula said. “We consider whole-person care the standard of care, because we cannot have physical health without mental health.”

Following the initial virtual care consult, the WakeMed Behavioral Health Team will continue to work directly with the patient and primary care office to develop a plan, provide follow-up care and treatment and coordinate any additional behavioral health services as needed.

The Duke Endowment’s $1.6 million grant to the WakeMed Foundation made the expansion of this paramount virtual behavioral health care offering – a plan two years in the making – a reality.

WakeMed Virtual Behavioral Health is available to offer support and services Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, patients can contact their WakeMed primary care provider or call (919) 235-1733.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *