Telehealth has become a vital resource to support behavioral health challenges. Current data estimates that 27.8 million adults in the U.S. struggle with a mental illness. However, fewer than half receive mental health services.
The ability to connect with mental health professionals from home has changed the way we approach mental health treatment. Read on for ten ways telemedicine supports behavioral health:
1. Telemedicine provides increased access to care for those who may not otherwise be able to access mental health treatment due to distance, mobility, or time constraints.
2. Virtual mental healthcare allows patients to maintain a consistent relationship with their therapist despite any changes in home life, leading to greater patient engagement. Virtual care helps patients feel safer and less guarded, allowing them to connect more deeply with their providers.
3. Telemedicine allows patients to be free of the stigma of mental health treatment by receiving treatment from the privacy of their homes. It can reduce the number of patients that do not seek care for fear of the stigmas associated with mental illness.
4. Increased provider availability is a byproduct of improved remote behavioral healthcare access, allowing mental health professionals to be available to patients outside of traditional office hours and in areas with a shortage of mental health providers, providing greater access to care.
5. Telemedicine can be a cost-effective option for patients who may not have access to transportation or would otherwise have to take time off work for in-person appointments.
6. Opioid-related deaths are typically higher in rural areas with less available treatment centers. Virtual care can connect rural opioid users with treatment options, regardless of where they live.
7. Telemedicine can reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations for patients with behavioral health issues. Through consistent treatment, patients can better manage their mental illness and are more likely to maintain their care routines, avoiding escalating emergencies or inpatient admissions.
8. Instead of creating care plans in a silo, behavioral health providers can coordinate care with primary care physicians by utilizing virtual health visits with multiple clinicians, allowing for true whole-person care.
9. Telemedicine technology has increased access to mental health services for those who may not have had access, including those in rural areas or emergencies, making it more convenient and accessible.
10. Telehealth appointments hosted on eNcounter® software are private and secure, ensuring patient confidentiality and reducing the risk of data breaches. So secure that the Defense Health Agency has vetted and approved our software for use on their medical network.
Telemedicine is one tool that providers can use to increase access to care and improve patient outcomes for those with behavioral health issues. It is a convenient, cost-effective, and secure way to connect individuals with the care and support they need to improve their mental health and well-being.