There have been many life-altering repercussions from COVID-19, but surprisingly, some of these have been positive changes. One is the acceptance of telehealth as a means of reaching out for help, whether it’s for some physical ailments or a mental health issue. I felt so strongly about this cause that I recently spoke in front of the Illinois Congress regarding making telehealth permanently available as a treatment option and other needed law changes regarding telehealth.
Here are the highlights of my speech:
I believe we need better access to health, mental health, and alcohol and substance abuse treatment for everyone. We have proven through this last year that not all procedures need to be completed in person. Health care providers should be able to decide with their patients when to use telehealth and when in-person treatment and services would be most suitable.
As you know, geriatric and disabled populations are growing. Lack of transportation and distance is often a hindrance for people to get to an appointment at a hospital, clinic, or office setting. For those who are working, it is difficult to take time off, but having the option of a phone or video visit means they can schedule appointments during breaks and lunch hours.
I believe Telehealth should be made available across state lines on a permanent basis to make continuity of care possible. Having better access to care through the permanency of telehealth will lead to having a higher quality of health care, better treatment compliance, the lessening of stigma and fear of seeking treatment, and will lower the cost of health care.
Click here for more information on The Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act.
If you find yourself unsure how to cope with your mental health problems, don’t hesitate to reach out to the compassionate experts at Smith Psychotherapy Associates for additional telehealth help and counseling services.
Robert J. Smith,