The Telehealth Trend
by Jennifer Simmons,
MC, OH LICDC, OH LPC, CCTP: DOT-QSAP
No one can say that 2020 is a typical year, but we all know that telehealth has become not only a trend but a critical need. However, the need for better access to mental health services is not new. Pre-pandemic, in 2018, there was an increase from 4.7% to 5.8% in American individuals that believed they had an unmet need for mental health services.[i] Now, more than ever, this has increased.
Reasons Individuals Aren’t Accessing Available Mental Health Services
The biggest reasons for individuals not accessing the mental health services they need include:
- Service affordability;
- Not knowing where to go to get services or treatment;
- Not having the time;
- Concerns over medication;
- Concerns over confidentiality;
- The thought that others opinion might be negative;
- The thoughts that treatment might not help;
- That getting treatment might have a negative impact on their job, and;
- Transportation issues.
The combination of these issues has led to the need for creative solutions to meet the needs of individuals.
Effective Solutions to Long Held Problems
In response to this growing need, the government has expanded telehealth or telepsychology payments for services under Medicaid and Medicare. This has started to put pressure on private insurance companies to do the same.
Amazingly, the research on the effectiveness of treatment through video and phone began in the 1960’s. There has been an ongoing debate as to whether phone services alone are effective enough to be covered by insurance. In today’s tech filled world, plus the impetus of the COVID19 crisis, internet and computer telehealth is finally getting the foothold needed to become a mainstream therapy option.
Teletherapy’s popularity is growing as a treatment option for those hesitant to seek treatment. It just may close the mental healthcare gap. David Mohr PhD, the director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine stated “What we’ve seen is that telehealth is essentially just as effective as face – to-face psychotherapy – and retention rates are higher” [ii]
Thoughts on teletherapy have become so positive that there is a movement to have it continue to be covered under insurance. Some of the positives around telehealth include:
It has helped to bring services to rural areas;
- Eliminated transportation issues;
- Stigma is reduced because individuals are not being seen visiting mental health facilities;
- Services are being provided in the comfort of their homes which reduces others finding out, and;
- Childcare may not be an issue;
- No in office wait times
- Finding treatment is as easy as looking up services on-line.
Add to that the endorsements that teletherapy is just as effective as in person therapy.
Have negative opinions and fears held you back from getting help?
Consider telehealth because it affords flexibility and the privacy of your home. Transportation issues, and extra cost are no longer an issue, and telehealth practitioners use platforms that are HIPPA compliant. The road to mental health has fewer roadblocks now.
Family Counseling & Rehabilitation Center of Ohio can help you navigate the telehealth system and put you on that road to better mental health. We offer:
- Family, individual and group counseling,
- Addictions Counseling,
- Child and adolescent counseling,
- Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional Services, and
- all of these comprehensive services can be specialized to fit your needs.
FCRCofOhio is open seven days a week with specialized hours in between to support the community and their needs during this difficult time. We also offer face-to-face appointments and take Ohio Medicaid.
We are conveniently located in the Harmer Village in Marietta OH
Call us at 1-740-249-8061.
We have a new neighbor at the Epicenter
Jennifer Simmons, MC, OH LICDC, OH LPC, CCTP: DOT-QSAP
Jennifer Simmons is the owner and operator of Family Counseling & Rehabilitation Center of Ohio, located in downtown Marietta Ohio. If you or someone you love is in need of supportive counseling services, she will be happy to help you to achieve your wellness goals. She is presently accepting new clients and does both telehealth and in person sessions. She is expanding services to better serve the community and their needs.
She accepts Ohio Medicaid as well as Medical Mutual and PEIA.
Jennifer Simmons obtained her Master degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Counseling from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix Arizona. She also worked with the state of Ohio to obtain her License of Independent Counseling Drug Counseling designation. She completed her certification as a Clinical Trauma Professional in 2019. In 2017 she completed the exam for the Department of Transportation (DOT) Substance Abuse Professional designation, which allows her to work with individuals in safety sensitive positions receive counseling and training on substance abuse. Currently she is working on her dissertation through Northcentral University in Phoenix Arizona to complete her PhD in Psychology. She is also working on finishing her designations for Gottman Certified Marriage Therapist, certification as a Sex Therapist through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), and a certified Child Play Therapist.
Jennifer works with a wide variety of individuals and needs that include children ages eight through adulthood, individuals with addictions and their families, couples, individuals with autism, people dealing with anger, individuals in the LGBTIQ community, military families, those dealing with trauma, depression, or grief. She has been working as a Therapist for over ten years and has extensive experience treating individuals and their families.
[i] SAMSA (2018) Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 national survey on Drug use and health. Data presented in this datapoint were derived from table 8.33A, available at www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-peports/NSDUHDetailedTabs 2018R2/NSDUHDetTabsSect8pe2018.htm#tab8-28a
[ii] Geenbaum, Z. (2020). How well is telepsychology working? Monitor on psychology. 51:5 46-51