With one in three adults in the U.S. reporting symptoms of depression or anxiety disorder in 2023, mental health is prevalent in everyone’s life. Whether you or a loved one are dealing with symptoms, society has learned many valuable lessons to combat the mental health crisis. Among those should be that being mentally fit is just as important as being physically fit.
You’ve likely heard about telemedicine and telehealth in reference to physical ailments, like allergies, flus and insect bites, but it can also be used for your mental health as well. Through online counseling, child learning and behavioral issues, stress management and more, Americans can lean on telehealth to assist with their overall wellness more than ever. Mental health and substance use visits represent a growing share of both telehealth and outpatient visits overall. This trend is most prevalent in telehealth. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 39% of telehealth outpatient visits were primarily for mental health or substance abuse between March and August of 2021 compared to 24% in 2020 and 11% in 2019.
It’s encouraging that our mental health is being prioritized at increasing levels, but there’s still plenty of work to be done. Employers need to continue to be cognizant of employee well-being by providing them with the services they’ll respond to. A virtual health professional can provide your employees with coping tools to help them navigate family and personal issues that are otherwise impacting their mental health. In short, telehealth is an easily accessible way for your employees to receive necessary mental health care at a lower cost.
There are many telehealth options to choose from so it’s important to choose one that makes it as easy as possible for the employee to use the benefit. The easier it is, the more likely your employees are to give it a try. If possible, keep copays to a minimum and work with a partner that doesn’t require a lot of pre-registering or other barriers. It’s also important to ensure the benefit is communicated effectively to your employees so they’re aware it’s available.
Overall, telemedicine can be a fantastic benefit when employees are engaged in it and the utilization is high. If you think this tool may work for your company, contact an MMA advisor today to learn more about this life changing service.