Indian J Psychol Med. 2020 Oct 1;42(5 Suppl):22S-26S. doi: 10.1177/0253717620958170. eCollection 2020 Oct.
Globally, telepsychiatry has been around since the 1950s. It is in the COVID era that it has gained the relevance and much-needed momentum amongst mental health care professionals. Given the restrictions imposed by the global lockdown owing to the fear of contracting the virus, the ease of access and safety offered by telepsychiatry makes it both appealing and “the new normal.” Despite some hesitation from mental health professionals, there is adequate research to support the role of telehealth services in the management of various mental health disorders. As with any formal system, the practice of telepsychiatry is regulated by professional guidelines to show the way forward to both health provider and seeker. The manuscript examines the ways telepsychiatry is redefining our virtual conduct. It emphasizes the evolving “netiquette” needed to navigate online consultations. It also elucidates the challenges faced by health professionals, and possible ways of maneuvering and circumventing the same. Telepsychiatry, a dynamic process which is interactive and personalized, adds a third dimension to the practice of modern medicine. It is here to stay. So, it is not a question of “if” instead “how soon” we can adapt to and get conversant with this revolutionary mode of connection, communication, and consultation, which will make all the difference.