Even before COVID-19, the prevalence of mental illness among American adults was increasing.
An estimated 19 percent of adults experienced mental health issues between 2017 and 2018, which is an increase of about 1.5 million people from the previous data set. It’s incredibly serious.
Then, when COVID-19 broke out, demand for services skyrocketed. One thing is clear: we need to take immediate action to promote access to mental health services across the United States.
Mental health service delivery needs to change.
We also know that COVID-19 is taking a massive toll on our collective mental health. A prolonged period of loss, trauma, and stress is leaving a mark.
It begs the question, is there a shortage of mental health services in America? Yes and no. Cities tend to do okay, but an estimated 115 million people live in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas. Significant shortages are predicted by 2025.
We need to get smarter about the way we provide mental health services to those who need them.
So what’s the solution to a professional shortage?
The first step is to revolutionize online bookings. The first barrier to access is scheduling, because it can be really hard to find a suitable provider.
Even when you do find someone, clients may not be able to actually book an appointment. This initial checklist can be pretty significant:
- Are there any providers in my area?
- Do they have the expertise to help me?
- Will they accept my insurance?
- Do they have space in their schedule?
People needing mental health services are often at a crisis point, which means delays at this stage can be both devastating and dangerous. The good news is that we have the technology to get this right.
Counseling Connection will be launching soon. It’s America’s new go-to mental health services platform, matching clients with providers to promote better access to health care.
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