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Mental Health Care Significantly Shifts From In-Person To Virtual

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(Christine Hume
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According to researchers with the nonprofit think tank RAND Corporation, there has been a ‘remarkable’ shift in the U.S. from in-person to virtual mental health care. Thanks in part to relaxed rules around virtual mental health care, researchers say telehealth visits in 2020 increased by 16 to 20 fold.

Why it matters: Research has shown an increase in the percentage of U.S. adults with symptoms of anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The backstory: While the weekly rate of in-person mental health service usage dropped more than 50% after the start of COVID in 2020, swift increases in telehealth sessions for things like anxiety disorders offset the decline.

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A good option: California Psychological Association President David Hindman says clients should always have the option of getting therapy in-person but, for a good number of behavioral health conditions, the virtual delivery platform is extremely effective.

Go deeper: Why It’s So Hard To Find A Therapist In LA

What questions do you have about mental health in SoCal?
One of my goals on the mental health beat is to make the seemingly intractable mental health care system more navigable.