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The Benefits of Virtual Mental Health Care

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that more than one-in-five Americans live with mental illness. Unfortunately, an estimated 122 million Americans live in areas where there are shortages of mental health professionals. In more rural areas, the nearest mental health professional could be several hours away. People who lack access to mental health services may postpone or neglect mental health care. But ignoring mental health issues can have a detrimental impact on you, your family and your co-workers. It may also make mental health issues worse.

Virtual mental health care is helping to provide critical access to mental health care services around the country. This is especially important as the increasing popularity of remote work has enabled more employees to work from rural parts of the country.

What Is Virtual Mental Health Care?

Virtual mental health care refers to a range of services that can be offered online via phone, tablet or computer. It often comes in the form of remote appointments or online communications. Although it may feel strange initially to open up to a mental health professional on your computer, forms of virtual health care have been around since the 1990s. Today, virtual mental health care may include the following options:

  • Virtual therapy sessions
  • Online coaching sessions
  • Self-help apps
  • Virtual substance misuse programs

Benefits of Virtual Mental Health Care

There are numerous benefits to virtual mental healthcare, especially if you live in an area where it’s difficult or impossible to find a qualified local mental health professional. For this reason, companies are increasingly offering virtual mental health services as part of employee benefits packages.

Here are some of the benefits of virtual mental health care:

  • Improves access to mental health professionals—Virtual mental health care is convenient and accessible, enabling more people to receive quality care where they live.
  • Adds scheduling flexibility—Telehealth appointments can often be made outside of typical work hours. They may also be combined with in-person sessions if you live in the same area as your mental health professional.
  • Increases comfort—Many people avoid seeking mental health care because they’re afraid of being recognized in a psychiatrist’s office or because of other logistical concerns, such as lacking proper transportation. Telepsychology enables you to receive quality care with anonymity from the comfort of your own home.
  • Enhances addiction treatment—Substance abuse and addiction issues are particularly prevalent in rural and low-income areas, which often lack proper mental health care resources. The expansion of virtual mental health services allows more people to get the support they need
  • Meets the needs of mental health care sessions—Telehealth is well-suited for mental health care because physical exams aren’t typically required. This means entire sessions can be delivered virtually.

Learn More About Virtual Mental Health Care

Mental health care is for everyone. You don’t need to have a mental illness to benefit from mental health sessions. Using the virtual mental health care benefits provided by your employer can help you reduce stress, overcome burnout and improve your overall well-being.