New mental health telemedicine service for military (US)

A new non-profit organization, Honor Vet, has been organized in the New York area to link returning service members and veterans with mental health professionals through online services and social networking. What they are organizing: telemedicine (online video consults), instant messaging chat rooms or phone consults with volunteer mental health professionals ‘on call’. Those who need to speak with (or IM) someone immediately will be able to do so; if not urgent, the servicemember or veteran will be able to schedule an appointment online.

Honor Vet was founded by two Marine veterans who both served in Iraq–Jesse Canella from Ridgewood NJ (near where editor Donna grew up) and Jim McCain, son of US Senator John McCain–and recently raised $140,000 at their kickoff fundraiser.  Their mental health services are being organized by Dr. Sharad Wagle, head of psychiatry at Holy Name Medical Center (Teaneck NJ).  Bergen (NJ) Record.   In a related article, iHealthBeat reports on Military Pathways, a voluntary mental health screening program for military members and families, which recently launched Video Doctor, a Web-based counseling tool that simulates conversations with physicians.