www.Ups tatePhys i c i ansSC . com | www.Hea l thL i nksUps tate. com | 35 TELEHEALTH By the Numbers In 2015, roughly 22% of mental health facilities were providing telehealth services. By 2020, more than 68% were offering telemedicine, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic. A nationwide public opinion poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association showed that the percentage of Americans saying they would use telehealth services for mental health care increased from 49% in 2020 to 59% in 2021. From March 2021 to August 2021, 39% of telehealth outpatient visits were primarily for a mental health or substance use diagnosis, compared to 24% a year earlier and 11% two years earlier. 57% of respondents in the APA poll said they would consider using a support line or online chat during a time of personal difficulty and mental anxiety. One challenge still facing telehealth involves addressing some of the socioeconomic and demographic obstacles to accessing care. Dr. Holes-Lewis noted, for instance, that not everyone has the necessary components to use telehealth, specifically internet access or a computer or smartphone – or they may find using telecommunications technology intimidating. “Some data has shown that certain populations are utilizing tele-mental health less, such as the elderly, Black and Hispanic people, people with certain psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, people living alone and those with lower incomes,” asserted Dr. Holes-Lewis. “As we continue to develop our services, we need to ensure that we understand how to overcome barriers and provide equitable access to mental health services for all.” Accessing tele-mental health services through Modern Minds is designed to be simple. At the time of the appointment, clients simply click on the link that is provided through a secure client portal to launch their telehealth therapy session. Modern Minds also has IT services on standby for anyone needing help connecting to the platform. Although Dr. Holes-Lewis advocates the use of tele-mental health, she prefers a blend of telehealth and in-person treatment. Initially, she wants to get to know someone for their first visit, which is better accomplished face-to-face. “I really like connecting with a person face-to-face,” she said. “From then on, I want them to opt for whatever modality works best for them to see me.” BEARABLE Evaluate the effect of health care routines on quality of life. BALANCE Goal-set and reflect on meditations personalized to your preferences. BETTER STOP SUICIDE Examine intrusive thoughts and explore resources for managing emotions and behaviors. BREATHE2RELAX Portable stress management tool used to decrease the body’s fight-or-flight response. EMOODS Understand mood shifts and health symptoms to better manage bipolar symptoms. MINDSHIFT Manage intense emotions and positively frame the meaning of anxiety. MOODFIT Track your moods and do exercises to get into mental shape. MOODKIT Reflect on your thoughts and learn how to develop healthy attitudes. TEN PERCENT HAPPIER Practice guided meditations and connect with coaching. WHAT’S UP? Track habits, redirect negative feelings and improve thinking patterns. Available on GooglePlay and the Apple App Store. MENTAL HEALTH APPS 43% of adults surveyed in the APA poll said they want to continue using telehealth services when the pandemic is over. Sources: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive, American Psychiatric Association and the Kaiser Family Foundation.