Telehealth services expand to Robertson County

In area where mental and behavioral health services are scant, free help is just a phone call away
July 5, 2019

The Texas A&M University Health Science Center has expanded telehealth services to two sites in Robertson County, Texas, in partnership with CHI St. Joseph. The new sites are in the towns of Franklin and Hearne. Services are free and are conducted via a secure video platform—the same service model as the one launched in Burleson County in May.

The expansion of services is another step the Health Science Center is taking toward integrating behavioral health in a primary care facility so patients can see both their health care provider and behavioral therapist in one setting.

Individuals interested in utilizing the services can call 979-436-0700 to request an eligibility screening. Individual, couples and group therapy are offered through video conference and telephone therapy services. The sessions cover a wide variety of needs—including depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress—to ages 13 and up in English and Spanish.

The addition of mental health services in Robertson County is addressing a critical need, said Carly E. McCord, PhD, director of clinical services at the Telehealth Counseling Clinic and a clinical research assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry.

The best-performing counties in the nation have mental health provider to population ratios of 1:310 (meaning one provider per every 310 people), McCord said. Robertson County has the highest (meaning the worst) ratio in the Brazos Valley, with almost 1:17,000.

“It is a privilege and a pleasure to be part of the solution for increased access to mental health care in our region, and we are especially excited to serve in Robertson County, where the need is so great,” McCord said.

The expanded services are funded by a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant McCord received in September.

— Kelli Reynolds