What are the Benefits of Behavioral Telehealth?

The coronavirus pandemic changed the demand for mental and behavioral healthcare in the United States. Beyond request, the pandemic also changed the delivery of support to those who needed it.

    Telehealth took over when in-person visits to counselors and therapists were previously the norm. What started as a necessity is now here to stay and change behavioral health care permanently. 

    Telehealth Care at a Glance

    Telehealthcare refers to delivering mental and behavioral health services through the internet or phone. Rather than meeting face-to-face, the counselor and client arrange sessions remotely. 

    Behavioral telehealth care sessions are often delivered via video conferencing software or other online services. However, in areas with little or unreliable internet reception, counselors also offer support with the help of phone sessions. 

    Benefits of Behavioral Telehealth

    Telehealth services had been growing in popularity for several years before the pandemic, and experts believe the field will continue to grow. This shift toward telehealth is based on the many benefits of offering mental and behavioral health care remotely. But it has also been supported by legislation. 

    Some of the main benefits include: 

    • Access to behavioral healthcare in remote areas
    • Access via phone and internet reaching larger populations
    • Access to the workplace, assisted living facilities, schools, and colleges
    • Simplified scheduling
    • Cost savings due to lack of travel 
    • Providers can reach more people in need

    Easier Access to Behavioral Healthcare

    Arguably, the most significant benefit of telehealth in behavioral and mental healthcare is increased accessibility to support.

    The National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates that around one in five Americans struggles with mental and behavioral health challenges. However, only under half of those individuals can access support and treatment. The problem is especially critical in remote areas [please link to the previous post in this series]. 

    Left untreated, mental health challenges can develop into life-changing conditions, some of which can even become chronic. 

    Telehealthcare through the internet or phone makes this support more easily accessible in remote, rural areas. Many Americans would have to travel for hours to see a suitable counselor. Through telehealth services, they can access the support they need in their own home. 

    In 2020, a change in legislation made it possible for behavioral telehealth care to be delivered by phone. This new legislation meant that patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid services could take advantage of remote counseling without needing a solid internet connection. 

    In addition, behavioral telehealth services can be delivered in places where this type of healthcare is not ordinarily accessible. Remote counseling is available in workplaces, schools, colleges, and assisted living facilities. 

    Easier Scheduling

    When behavioral and mental health concerns start to become overwhelming, even scheduling an appointment with a counselor can seem to be too difficult. 

    That is when telehealth options can help. Scheduling is more accessible as clients do not need to consider the time required to travel to their counselor. While many prefer to take sessions at home, any reasonably private location works well. 

    A quiet room at work or a hotel room during a trip can be suitable locations for remote consultations. Finding the time to fit in a consultation becomes far more manageable when travel time is no longer a consideration. 

    Cost Savings

    Not having to travel to see a counselor or therapist also reduces the cost of care. In a time when fuel prices have been rising, and inflation is threatening the income of Americans, this is essential. 

    The challenging economic situation will most likely lead to an increase in mental health problems. At the same time, increased travel costs could have rendered access to care impossible. Behavioral telehealth offers an affordable answer. 

    Plus, depending on circumstances, behavioral healthcare may be covered by Medicare. That means residents in assisted living facilities can benefit without additional costs.  

    Providers Can Reach More People in Need

    As scheduling becomes easier and travel times are minimized, counselors can potentially see more clients within the same period.  It is essential in underserved areas by mental and behavioral healthcare providers. Telehealth services allow counselors to reach remotely based clients without needing further travel. 

    Conditions Behavioral Telehealth Can Address

    Mental and behavioral health concerns have become one of the most common illnesses in the United States. Early intervention and support through behavioral telehealth can prevent the progression of a problem to a chronic condition. 

    Some of the most common conditions behavioral telehealth services can address are:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Eating disorders
    • Grief and loss
    • Bipolar disorder
    • Relationship conflicts

    Behavioral telehealth dramatically impacts the quality of life of those dealing with mental health challenges.  

    How to Choose a Behavioral Telehealth Service

    Choosing a remote counselor is not dissimilar to choosing the right counselor for in-person sessions. Clients must consider the counselor’s reputation, qualifications, and licensing status. Moreover, they may also want to look for specific expertise with a given condition. 

    The same criteria apply when selecting a remote counselor. Platforms like TrueCare24 simplify the process by vetting counselors before they join the network and clarifying specializations, qualifications, and other requirements. Because of the network size, there are no wait lists and no delays in receiving support. 

    TrueCare24 has long established itself as a proven behavioral healthcare provider, including telehealth. The platform’s counselors work with private individuals in dialysis centers, assisted living facilities, and educational environments. 

    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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