Many people in the U.S. don’t see a mental health professional when they need one. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, as many as 43.8 million people experience a behavioral health crisis each year, but 60 percent don’t receive any treatment. Whether they don’t have access to mental health professionals, are embarrassed to ask for help, or simply don’t know where or how to begin, telemedicine is now helping more and more of them access the care they need.
In 2017, 53 percent of telemedicine visits nationwide were for mental health issues–and the numbers keep growing. In fact, behavioral health services are among the most common telehealth services now being offered, due in large part to strong demand.
Virtual mental health counseling has been shown to be at least as effective—and in some cases, more effective—in treating depression as traditional in-person sessions. A study by the University of Zurich found that just as many patients who received online therapy had an improvement in their depression, compared with those who received face-to-face counseling.
In addition to having positive health effects, virtual mental health programs are easy, convenient and, like traditional therapy sessions, completely confidential. Patients can access services anytime, anywhere through a laptop, tablet or smartphone, rather than visit a provider’s office. They’re especially helpful for those who live in remote areas, are housebound or—like many of us—just have too much going on in their lives to find the time for regular therapy sessions.
As an 1199SEIU member, you can now take advantage of Teladoc, our telehealth service. If you or a family member is experiencing a mental health issue and don’t know where to turn for help, take advantage of your Teladoc benefit to get the care you need. Visit www.Teladoc.com or call (800) TELADOC (835-2362).
Sources: JAMA; National Alliance on Mental Illness; Journal of Affective Disorders