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Publication under process

Lack of affordable and accessible mental health care is a major contributor to a huge burden of mental health disorders in India. Integrating mental health into primary care is a model proposed to address this treatment gap. Tele-psychiatry can be a cost-effective modality to achieve the goal of integration.

We compared the efficacy of ‘Integrated Tele-Mental Health’ with that of face-to-face interventions through Mobile Medical Units (MMU). We then compared the outcomes of physicians of various levels of expertise in mental health care.

The use of integrated tele-mental health was shown to be an effective model in reducing the treatment gap and empowering the primary care physicians in delivering mental health care. With adequate training, physicians can be at par with mental health professionals for screening for mental health disorders. Given the scalable nature of the technology, there are enormous potential in its usage to address the lack of accessible mental health care.