'Telepsychiatrists' helping people in rural W.Va. - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

'Telepsychiatrists' helping people in rural W.Va.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- People who need mental health treatment have more options, thanks to an expansion in telepsychiatry services at WVU Healthcare.

Twenty-seven clinics in 12 rural West Virginia counties now treat adults, adolescents and children. They also work with pregnant female addicts.

Experts say many West Virginians aren't getting the care they need because of a lack of providers and treatment facilities. Some patients travel from as far as McDowell County to Morgantown for help.

Now, some can go to a clinic that's closer and meet with a counselor via computer screen and web cam.

The participating counties are: Barbour, Clay, Jackson, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Randolph, Roane, Tucker, Upshur and Wood.

Since 2009, WVU telepsychiatrists have seen more than 11,000 patients.

But waiting lists at some clinics are in the hundreds.

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