House Bill 3498 Protects Access To Mental Health Care
Friday, May 7, 2021
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Milani Varela’s twice-a-week routine of attending individual and group therapy transitioned to telehealth sessions over Zoom during the pandemic. Telehealth services have meant Varela, of Chicago, and others could continue their care at a time when mental health has worsened.
House Bill 3498 will ensure access to telehealth services after the pandemic. The Coalition to Protect Telehealth urges senators to pass this bipartisan legislation to reduce access barriers and improve patient outcomes.
During the pandemic, four in 10 American adults have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder. Between January and June 2019, one in 10 adults reported these symptoms, according to Kaiser Family Foundation.
“For some people, I find that because of specific mental health issues, like depression, they really can’t get out of bed to actually go to therapy,” Varela said. “I see people that would not be in the group therapy because they couldn’t travel.”
Among millennials, 48% prefer seeing a doctor virtually, according to a Harmony Healthcare IT survey. “When it comes to therapy, I feel it’s a little easier to do it through Zoom,” said Varela, 33. “I would love to keep it that way.”
Learn more about the benefits of telehealth at https://protectillinoistelehealth.org/.