Posted: August 20, 2019
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (PRWEB) AUGUST 20, 2019
State of Florida invests in transformative technology toward improving childhood mental health
Let’s Talk Interactive, Inc., a leading provider of customizable telehealth solutions, alongside the Department of Children & Family Services (DCF) and the State of Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Hope for Healing initiative, unveiled 63 Telehealth Kiosks and 63 Telehealth iPads Portals in six counties last week. Every public school in the Florida Panhandle will be equipped with a portal in time to start the 2019-2020 academic year. The customized Telehealth Kiosks and Telemedicine Software Portals will enable more than 35,000 school-aged children to access much-needed care for those affected by life stressors, primarily the trauma and devastation caused by Hurricane Michael in late 2018.
The Telehealth Portals will be available to students within Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Franklin, Jackson, and Liberty Counties via insurance, Medicaid and Medicare and grants available through Big Bend Community Based Care (BBCBC). Throughout the school year, providers in the hurricane-affected area will be able to offer counseling services through the Let’s Talk Interactive online platform. Students within these six Florida counties can now access psychiatric care through the Telehealth Portals during the school day. The parent or legal guardian can be part of the innovative video sessions through the HIPPA-compliant platform from work or home to maximize the time they are able to devote to their children’s wellness.
Hurricane Michael was the third most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the contiguous United States and the first storm of its magnitude to do so in the Northeast Gulf Coast. After making landfall near Mexico Beach on the Florida Panhandle on October 10, 2018, the Category 4 storm caused massive destruction. The region is still devastated nearly one year later and those impacted are some of the youngest in the state.
“More than 15 million school-aged children suffer from psychiatric illness across the United States,” said Arthur Cooksey, Founder, Let’s Talk Interactive, Inc. “First Lady DeSantis and the State of Florida are spearheading a cutting edge initiative to tackle one of the nation’s leading crises - mental illness. Our goal is to break the stigma and provide unparalleled access to quality healthcare to anyone who needs it - especially for the next generation.”
In June 2019, Let’s Talk Interactive was tasked by BBCBC to install the 63 custom Telehealth Kiosks and iPad Portals by the start of the school year - a record 42 day turnaround time. “We are an experienced team and were able to move mountains with our partners here in the U.S. to combat the crisis facing not only the Panhandle, but also our country as a whole,” remarked Cooksey.
“Providing better access to Medical and Mental Health Care is a crisis and top priority for our nation. Since 2001, Let’s Talk Interactive and our partners have been at the forefront of this initiative,” noted Josh Botbol, President, Let’s Talk Interactive. “BBCBC, DCF and First Lady DeSantis’ Hope for Healing Initiative had a vision to improve healthcare and make it more accessible in their schools. We are excited to be able to help them bring that vision to life. By deploying our Telehealth Kiosks and Portals at the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, these schools and communities now have the ability to receive mental, acute and emergency care on any device with a cellular or internet connection - putting real time healthcare at every citizen’s fingertips instantaneously.”
“We are focused on what will make a difference in the lives of these young, vulnerable children. I too am so grateful that today we can talk about the impact of tele-health and tele-mental health in the lives of children and their families,” added Mary Mayhew, Secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, State of Florida at a press conference held Thursday, August 8, 2019. “And we know that we have a healthcare workforce shortage in this state and that is acutely felt in mental health. This is going to be a pilot to understand what more can we do around this state [...] this is going to change not only the lives of children and families in this area of the state, but it holds promise for so many throughout the state.”
Let’s Talk Interactive plans to track the success of the initiative within the Panhandle throughout the school year, measuring the number of students who participate and are partnered with local providers. This data will be monitored by BBCBC’s Program Director Dr. George Baston and reported back to the State of Florida to highlight the impact the technology will have throughout the year.
For more information about Let’s Talk Interactive and its work in Florida schools, visit http://www.letstalkinteractive.com.
About Let’s Talk Interactive, Inc.
Let’s Talk Interactive, Inc. is a complete end-to-end Telehealth solutions provider, arming medical and behavioral health professionals with cutting-edge Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) video conferencing software, kiosks and medical carts, network solutions, virtual clinics, and safe and secure online video conferencing capabilities while giving those in need instant access to care through its innovative technology platform. The company’s telemedicine solutions enable providers to offer care at any time, from any location in the world and patients to directly connect to a licensed medical professional in real time.