Using Telebehavioral Health to Increase Access to Care for Rural and Vulnerable Populations Amid COVID-19 [open pdf - 204KB]
From the Document: "There are an estimated 11.4 million adults living with a serious mental illness and 20.3 million people aged 12 or older with a substance use disorder in the United States. Pandemics and infectious disease outbreaks such as COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] can increase fear-induced behaviors and trigger or worsen psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and substance use. Compounding this burden are the pre-existing disparities that rural and vulnerable populations face, including higher rates of poverty, absent or inadequate health insurance coverage, and limited public transportation options. During this time, it is critical to consider strategies that maintain and expand effective behavioral healthcare services to these already-stressed populations. Federal agencies and states have temporarily expanded access to telehealth services to increase access to care. One strategy that states and territories are leveraging to deliver behavioral health services and reduce health disparities during this pandemic is telebehavioral health, a form of telehealth that utilizes virtual communication technologies to provide mental health and substance use services."
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials: http://www.astho.org/