Free mental health telemedicine services for rural Hawaii
As the state begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaii UTelehealth, a free health service tool developed by the University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), is reminding the public its behavioral health telemedicine program is still available for Neighbor Island residents.
The online telepsychiatry and telepsychology platform allows individuals to talk to a licensed professional about worries, stress, anxiety, substance use or other concerns at no charge. The service aims to provide mental health service to rural populations who might experience time constraints, financial burdens and transportation barriers when trying to access services.
Hawaii UTelehealth is staffed with a licensed mental health counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse practitioner and physician. The telehealth platform offers services from telehealth coordinators who can teach patients how to utilize telehealth eligible devices and gain technological literacy.
Services are available until Aug. 31, 2023. Call (808) 375-2745 for additional assistance or to set up your first appointment. Translators are available upon request.
The tool was developed by JABSOM in collaboration with the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center in the UH Manoa College of Social Sciences.
Other partners include Hawaii State Rural Health Association and the state Department of Health.
“These are trying times for everyone. It’s nice to have a number to call to get help,” said Kelley Withy, executive director of JABSOM’s Pacific Basin Area Health Education Center.