Posted: May 12, 2021
LTI continues to build telehealth ecosystems among schools, jails, nonprofits and healthcare providers with video access to mental health professionals
CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 12, 2021 (Newswire) - The mental health of American youth has seen a consistent decline, with 9.7% reporting severe major depression this year, compared to 9.2% in 2020 (Mental Health America). Prior to COVID-19, the prevalence of mental illness among adults had already seen an increase of 1.5 million people compared to the previous year's dataset, with 19% of American adults reporting they experienced a mental illness.
There's no denying that there continues to be an unmet need for mental health treatment among youth and adults.
Let's Talk Interactive develops telehealth solutions that bring people access to mental health support and healthcare no matter their geographic location. The firm partners with organizations--from nonprofits, to schools, jails and healthcare systems--to implement and expand on these solutions across the U.S. through its secure telehealth technology and provider networks.
The impact is growing. LTI's new proprietary video platform, launched in September 2020, has seen more than a 16,000% increase in the number of telehealth meetings to date, and more than 14,000% increase in participants in the same time period.
"Our experience in addressing mental health issues dates back several years when Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle in 2018," said Arthur Cooksey, Chief Executive Officer of Let's Talk Interactive, reflecting on the BBCBC, now NWF Health Network, 2019-2020 annual report. "More than 300 children were diagnosed with PTSD and needed access to mental health services. We enabled Florida to provide remote mental health services, attending to 300 kids in less than 30 days who had been on a waiting list for months."
Following Hurricane Michael, BBCBC saw an increase in demand for mental health services while access to that necessary care became difficult to provide, especially amid COVID-19. Telehealth allowed communities to bridge the gap between children in need and the providers ready and able to treat them. The telehealth kiosks facilitated 232 virtual child therapy sessions 15 minutes or greater between October 2019 and March 2020 when COVID hit. As students transitioned to virtual learning, they were able to continue connecting with their mental healthcare provider without leaving their homes, resulting in virtual sessions increasing to 2,532 by June 30, 2020, according to the BBCBC annual report.
Another area in critical need for telehealth services is jails, as the long distances required for jail staff and inmates to travel for in-person treatment sessions made access limited. LTI, in partnership with BBCBC, worked with DISC Village to provide telehealth kiosks for use in 5 rural county jails in North Florida. These kiosks allow inmates to receive an assessment upon intake into the jail and continued treatment during their incarceration. Telehealth treatment also allows for a seamless continuation of care when an inmate is released from jail, as they can continue receiving care with only a smartphone or computer, ultimately helping to reduce recidivism for inmates with continued support of their recovery.
"No longer is finding someone to talk to the barrier to obtaining access to mental health care," added Cooksey. "We need every door to remain open for all people to have access to quality care. Our team at LTI is laser focused on making virtual care not only accessible but the new norm, especially when it comes to administering mental health support."