White River Junction VA Medical Center, Vermont

Tele-Mental Health

 What is Tele-mental health?

Veterans are able to see a psychiatrist on the computer with the help of a webcam.  This allows veterans to receive specialized care without having to drive long distances. 

The White River Junction VA Mental Health Service and the Richford Health Center, in Richford, Vermont, have begun a new program to bring VA Mental Health services to veterans in Northwestern Vermont at the Richford clinic, using audiovisual communications (television and microphone).  Funded by a grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs office of Rural Health, services at Richford began in October.  Veterans in Franklin and Grand Isle counties, in need of mental health expertise can now meet with a Psychiatrist or Psychologist located at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction or Colchester, using our new state of the art equipment. 

In addition, VA providers can also provide specialized care to members of the Vermont National Guard and their families under a contract between the VA and the National Guard.  Richford is the pilot site for the rural health grant.  At present, we are developing similar programs in Randolph, Hardwick and Wells River, Vermont, as well as Colebrook,  Berlin, and Plymouth, NH.  All are expected to open in 2010.  Talks are in progress with two other potential sites as well.  Pending the success of this demonstration project, we hope to extend the program to healthcare facilities throughout our catchment area, which covers all of Vermont and the northern counties of New Hampshire.