U of M Testing Virtual Mental Health Care for Rural Manitobans

U of M Testing Virtual Mental Health Care for Rural Manitobans

University of Manitoba
University of Manitoba (UMANITOBA.CA)

WINNIPEG — The University of Manitoba is testing ways rural Manitobans can access mental health care supports in a virtual setting.

By using “virtual care” technology, the U of M is carrying out a pilot project using remote communication strategies to connect adult patients with psychiatric and other mental health support.

“Virtual care strategies, such as videoconferencing between patient and psychiatrist via the MBTeleHealth secure network, offer great potential to create more equitable access,” said Jennifer Hensel, who has been appointed medical director of adult telemental health services by the U of M psychiatry department.

Hensel says Manitobans living in rural and remote communities of the province have limited access to psychiatric consultation and other mental health services than urban dwellers.

“These strategies could improve the quality of care and mental health outcomes for individuals living in rural Manitoba.”

Hansel has been awarded the Gerry McDole Professorship worth $50,000 per year for three years to carry out the study, while AstraZeneca Canada is providing philanthropic support.

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