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US reps eye mental health telemedicine for rural veterans

August 16, 2020 GMT

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A Maine congressman is working across the aisle with a Republican from Indiana on a proposal that would create mental health telemedicine services for veterans in rural parts of the country.

Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat, is working on the proposal with Rep. Jim Banks. Their bill would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to create programs at three VA facilities that use computerized cognitive behavioral therapy to treat veterans who suffer from conditions such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Togus in Maine would be able to participate as one of the facilities, Golden said. He said the distance between rural vets and care facilities sometimes prevents them from seeking services they need.

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Golden said telehealth alternatives represent “a promising way to address this problem for rural vets, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.”