Introducing Telehealth for Behavioral Health Problems 

Millions of Americans struggle with their mental and behavioral health every year. Behavioral health conditions like depression and anxiety became more common in the U.S. even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telehealth for Behavioral Health

    Recognizing the problem

    As the pandemic set in, the number of people of all ages struggling with these conditions increased exponentially. 

    At the same time, access to conventional mental health care was limited due to lockdowns and other restrictions. For many, telehealth care was the only way to access support. Although the pandemic appears to be retreating, telehealth options for behavioral health care are here to stay. 

    Telehealth simplifies access to behavioral and mental health services and allows medical professionals to care for more clients. 

    What is Behavioral Health Care?

    According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five American adults experiences mental and behavioral health problems. They may suffer from anxiety, depression, or other behavioral health challenges. 

    Behavioral health challenges can start with disruption to existing routines. Disorders can lead to disordered eating, alcohol and substance abuse problems, or issues revolving around coping with significant changes in a person’s life. Not all behavioral health problems develop into diagnosable behavioral or mental illnesses. However, left untreated, disruptions are much more likely to become chronic. 

    Behavioral health professionals work with their clients to identify the root of behavioral problems and encourage more positive, sustainable routines. In many cases, behavioral health care is delivered through talk therapy, such as counseling, where the counselor and client meet in the counselor’s office.

    How does Telehealth Care Work? 

    Telehealth behavioral health care uses the concept of counseling but removes the need to travel to a counselor’s practice or office. Instead, clients meet their counselor remotely, via video conferencing software or similar tools. 

    During the coronavirus pandemic, telehealth counseling was often the only option for people with behavioral health issues to access support. However, despite the pandemic receding, telehealth behavioral health care is here to stay simply because it makes behavioral health support more widely accessible. In addition, there are more benefits to this type of care.

    Experts believe that traveling to a therapist’s office is a significant barrier preventing Americans from accessing mental health care. Current statistics show that less than 50% of those suffering from behavioral and related problems receive the treatment they need. Consequently, conditions are allowed to progress and become life-limiting in some instances. 

    NAMI statistics show that the situation is especially serious in rural areas of the country. Twenty-five million Americans currently live in a so-called Mental Health Professional Shortage Area where there are not enough counselors to meet the community’s needs for care. During the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 50% of rural adults stated the coronavirus had impacted their mental health. Telehealth services can not only help bridge the service gap. Moreover, this type of treatment can potentially prevent a behavioral illness epidemic. 

    Like in-person counseling, telehealth behavioral health counseling sessions start with a thorough assessment of the client’s concerns. Based on that, the counselor will confirm a diagnosis and suggest a treatment plan consisting of online counseling sessions. 

    Telehealthcare is not expensive nor equipment intensive. Clients and counselors can meet using the following essential equipment:

    • A computer, laptop, or tablet with a microphone and a camera – the built-in versions work well
    • A secure internet connection; a minimum speed of 1 Mbps is recommended 
    • A private space – a room with a door that closes is best
    • Sufficient lighting in front of the counselor’s and the client’s face to see facial expressions clearly
    • A reliable browser like Firefox or Chrome

    Who Can Access Telehealth Care? 

    Telehealthcare is one of the most accessible forms of behavioral health care available. Individuals without access to a computer or reliable internet connection can also benefit from this therapy via phone counseling. 

    Like computer-based counseling sessions, phone counseling works best if clients have access to a private space without family members, friends, pets, and other distractions. Apart from the room, all that is needed is a phone with reasonable sound quality. 

    Platforms like TrueCare24 have curated a vast network of highly qualified and fully licensed counselors. The team can support some of the most common behavioral health issues and more specialized concerns. 

    Because of the number of counselors in the TrueCare24 network, there are no wait lists or delays to treatment. Clients can access the support they need exactly when they need it. Plus, telehealth counseling removes the need for time-consuming travel to a professional counselor’s office, saving time and fuel costs. 

    Telehealth counseling is highly flexible. There are no long-term contracts or a minimum number of sessions. Counselors will generally recommend a minimum number of sessions, but additional counseling can be added as required. Changing appointment times is just as simple. 

    Dealing with behavioral and mental health challenges can alter a person’s life. Mental illness can limit someone’s ability to pursue their career of choice or care for their family. Telehealth counseling provides a simple and convenient option to access professional support anywhere, at any time. 

    About TrueCare™

    TrueCare™ is a nationwide Health & Wellness platform for families and businesses providing end-to-end solutions for COVID-19 testing, screening, vaccination, home care, and corporate well-being services.

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