Forget driving to the office and milling about in the waiting room. Increasingly psychiatrists are ready to meet you face-to-face — no matter where you are — using computers and the power of the internet to make mental health care far more accessible than ever before.

So-called telepsychiatry is on the rise and it couldn’t come soon enough. It’s estimated that more than 7 million kids have a need for mental health services due to a mental disorder, behavioral issue or developmental disability. Many of these children go without mental health services, according to a recent government survey.

Telepsychiatry eliminates several of the barriers to treatment, experts say. Most importantly, the new approach means a talented psychiatrist can be accessed whether you live in the middle of a big city or on a mountain top.

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Unlike the telephone, psychiatrists using video conferencing on the computer can see their patient in real time, meaning they can assess expressions and interact much like at an office visit. Plus, some patients are more comfortable communicating from home because there’s no fear of the stigma that can be associated with visiting a shrink’s office.

The computer can also be less intimidating — especially for those struggling with anxiety — in an era where computers are a natural part of everyday life, experts say.

While the technique is relatively new and research is limited, psychiatrists who are using telepsychiatry are optimistic and anecdotal evidence suggests it holds great promise for the future, reports Time Magazine. To read more click here.