Emotional Support in a Practical Package

In a sign of progress in societal acceptance of the issue, the need to provide mental health services has become a topic more openly discussed and addressed.  Mental health is just as important as physical health – some say even more so – yet access to counselors and therapists remains an issue.

A Congressional committee learned that 55% of all U.S. counties have no practicing psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers.  Yet the need remains high nationwide:

  • About 1 in 5 adults experience a mental illness in a given year.
  • About 1 in 5 teenagers experience a severe mental disorder in their lives.
  • Serious mental illness costs the U.S. nearly $200 billion in lost annual earnings.

A growing trend to address these issues comes with the idea of Telemental health, providing live online counseling through video conferencing.  This option can quickly, easily, and inexpensively provide needed mental health services to those in rural areas or those unable or unwilling because of social stigma to travel to a hospital or counseling center.

Results of the practice of Telemental health show many positives, including:

  • A significant reduction in psychiatric hospitalization rates.
  • Low-income and homebound seniors have experienced longer-lasting effects than those receiving in-person treatment.
  • Because mental health providers rarely need to perform any physical services on patients, the Telemental option is much more practical.
  • There is little-to-no difference in patient satisfaction between Telemental counseling and face-to-face treatment.

Shortcomings include: not all insurance plans cover Telemental health sessions; some non-verbal cues may be more difficult for a counselor to detect when working online with a patient; and not all patients can access or operate the online technology needed.

Telemental health services are sure to expand, which could serve to diminish or alleviate these issues.  It represents a workable system to provide needed mental health support to more patients in more locations.  Talk with the Benefits professionals at Evergreen about this topic and more regarding providing benefits for your employees.

Copyright 2024 Evergreen Insurance, LLC.

Evergreen Insurance, LLC. provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice.  To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.