Fundamentals of Tele-Mental Health

Location: The classes will be offered online through WebEx.
Term: Summer Semester AY22/23
Department: Public Health Department
Credits: 1 credit
Dates: Mon 07/03/2023 - Fri 07/07/2023
Class Times: M Tu W Th F, 5:00 - 8:00pm
Course Instructor: Mr. Emile Whaibeh, MPH, Department of Public Health, University of Balamand
Contact: Myriam Mrad; email:
Prerequisite: NA

Description: Telemental health (TMH), defined as the use of information and telecommunication technologies (ICT) for the remote delivery of mental health and substance use care services, has witnessed exponential growth in recent years. The increased adoption of TMH worldwide can be attributed to multiple factors including:

  • 1- Increased demand for behavioral health services.
  • 2- Increased availability of high-speed internet.
  • 3- Decreased cost of ICT.
  • 4- Expansion of reimbursement models.
  • 5- Growing scientific evidence demonstrating its effectiveness across various patient populations, psychiatric conditions, and clinical settings.

The COVID-19 pandemic further catapulted TMH's expansion and scaling, as social distancing and lockdown measures left clinicians and patients with limited alternatives. 

Since TMH’s effectiveness is well established in the literature and its position in the healthcare system is secured and uncontested, the current public health conversation around it has shifted from “if” to “how” it could be implemented. 

Introduction to Telemental Health aims to engage graduate students with the fundamentals of TMH and to acquaint them with the current evidence and best practices in the field. 

The course also acknowledges that despite growing interest in TMH globally and in Lebanon especially, there exist only a few formal educational opportunities for individuals interested in learning more about it. As such, this course adds significant value to the learning journey of graduate students and healthcare professionals, as it marks the first graduate course focusing on TMH in Lebanon. 

It prepares learners for the emerging digital shifts in healthcare service delivery, with special considerations for the implementation of TMH in Lebanon and other resource-limited countries in the region and worldwide. 

The course considers both the clinical and the programmatic aspects, including planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of its essential clinical, technical, legal, and ethical components. 

The course is largely based on the research and clinical experience of several guest speakers as well as material derived from Essentials of Telemental Health: A Practical Guide, a scientific book published by Springer and co-edited and co-authored by the instructor.