Rise of Tele-Behavioral Health

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Telehealth, or remote (often on-demand) care administered via phone, email, video chat, etc. has grown in popularity but also because it drives favorable healthcare outcomes.  Not to mention the more positive patient experience vs. the alternatives, “sickness filled” primary care waiting room, urgent care center or sometimes even ER. Historically telemedicine has been used to treat routine illnesses, allowing doctors to diagnose, treat, monitor and prescribe remotely for ailments such as upper respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, sinus infections, stomach flu, food poisoning, etc.

With increasing awareness to address mental health issues in the workplace, telehealth is being looked at as a supportive service for emotional well-being.

Accessing mental health care is a significant challenge for most Americans, with wait times to see a provider measured in weeks and months, rather than days. In addition to long wait times, distance, cost, and stigma present significant barriers to getting care. These are all challenges that telemedicine is uniquely equipped to solve. – Dr. Ian Tong Chief Medical Officer Doctor On Demand

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”), in 2014, approximately 43 million American adults—about one in every five adults aged 18 or older—suffered from some mental illness. And with that only 41 percent of adults with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year.

Telebehavioral/Telemental health is being seen as an alternative solution to address the gap in mental health care.

Below we share how technology is driving the positive growth of telemental health and provide some an overview of vendors with services worth checking out.

  • The increase in mobile health applications related to mental health services is increasing accessibility to care, for minor and serious conditions.  Approximately 6% of mobile health apps developed are focused on mental health services and another 11% are providing stress management services.
  • Studies have shown that psychiatric admissions for patients who utilized telemental health services decreased by approximately 24 percent, and the patients’ days of hospitalization decreased by an average of 26 percent.
  • Text therapy – user friendly care for a nominal fee provides access to care delivered through a platform that removes obstacles to treatment for younger generations (and older ones alike)
  • Telemental Health Providers:
    • Talkspace – An online mobile therapy company that gives users access users have access to licensed therapists through the website or mobile app.
    • Betterhelp – Affordable private online counseling matching patients with providers dependent on needs.
    • Spring – B2B platform eliminating barriers to mental health to help your employees feel better faster.
    • Ginger.io – On-demand coaching providing emotional support and care for employees.
    • CCA – In addition to a plethora of mental health resources, CCA offers a progressive on-demand EAP platform to address employees personal issues and their families too.

Addressing mental health issues in the workplace is critical for the success of your employees and your business.  Not only will it increase productivity and employee retention but also improve employee happiness!

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