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Telehealth use has grown significantly in recent years, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. The ability to help limit the risk of exposure that people would have during in-person visits encouraged many more providers and patients to use telehealth than ever before.
Telehealth is an effective way to get mental health care. And with its potential to lower health care costs and improve patient outreach and health outcomes, it looks like telehealth is here to stay.
More people are using their smartphone, tablet or computer to get help for mental health concerns. That’s because using telehealth can make it easier to get care for common mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, about 1 in 5 adults had a mental illness. And now it’s even more common.
Even though there is a growing need for mental health care, many Americans are still not able to get the help they need. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that more than half of U.S. counties have no psychiatrists. And even in places that have mental health care providers, there are often not enough to meet the need.
While some people need more intensive, in-person care, telehealth is an effective way to get care for many mental health issues. And it can make a big difference in places that don’t have enough providers by connecting patients and providers who are far apart.
It’s also well suited for young people. It may even be better than in-person visits for young patients. That’s important because young people’s mental health is increasingly at risk, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Telehealth can also help lower the cost of health care. In addition, telehealth:
People with mental illness can have symptoms that involve a range of feelings, including:
If the way you’re feeling interferes with your ability to work, sleep, eat and enjoy your life, it’s time to get help. You don’t have to try to handle it alone.
If you don’t have a mental health care provider, you can get started by talking to your primary care provider. Like many health issues, help for mental illness takes expert diagnosis and treatment. Your primary care provider can help you find the right care.
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