The Benefits of Telehealth Platforms for Mental Health

Monday, May 1 2023

Telehealth platforms for mental health: benefits and key features to look for

Driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, the popularity of telehealth has skyrocketed in recent years. In fact, 37% of U.S. adults utilized telehealth services in 2021.

However, reducing the spread of infectious diseases is far from the only advantage that telehealth services offer. When it comes to mental health care, telehealth provides a number of considerable benefits.

SonderMind's mission is to improve access to care, with options for telehealth or in-person sessions. To help you decide whether in-person therapy or online therapy is the right choice for you, we'll discuss the various benefits of telehealth platforms for mental health along with covering the important features that you should look for in a telehealth platform.

Benefits of using a telehealth platform

Telehealth platforms (also known as telemedicine platforms) enable patients to connect with therapists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals entirely online via text messaging software and video conferencing.

This exciting new approach to mental health care provides a range of benefits to providers and patients alike. For patients, this includes significant benefits such as:

Increased access to the best providers

When scheduling appointments to meet with health care professionals in person, you’ll be limited to only the providers physically in your area. With teletherapy, you'll have more flexibility and options of mental health professionals to work with since you both have the convenience of meeting virtually.

Comfort and convenience

Telehealth platforms allow you to receive therapy sessions right from your own home or anywhere else you feel the most comfortable. No more driving to your therapist's office and sitting in crowded waiting rooms.

This also means you can receive care in a relaxed and familiar environment. For many people, this eliminates much of the anxiety associated with seeking mental health treatment.

Affordable care

Patients who utilize telehealth services save between $19 to $121 per visit compared to traditional health care services. How much money you can expect to save by choosing online mental health services depends on several factors, including your health insurance plan and how much the provider charges.

Since telehealth reduces overhead for providers, though, they are typically able to pass these savings onto their patients, meaning that telehealth will almost always be more affordable than comparable in-person care.

Improved engagement for patients and providers

Telehealth platforms offer patients streamlined access to mental health professionals. Many telehealth platforms even provide a mobile app for convenient and secure messaging and sharing of health records.

This streamlined access leads to improved engagement between providers and their patients. 

Key features to look for in telehealth platforms for mental health

Telehealth platforms for mental health can provide considerable benefits — but only if you choose the right platform.

Selecting the right telehealth platform for your specific needs is ultimately almost as important as choosing the right therapist. With that in mind, below we’ll discuss the key features to look for in telehealth platforms for mental health.

Remote and in-person provider availability

There's no denying using an online therapy platform can provide plenty of benefits. However, there is still something to be said for in-person care as well. At SonderMind, we believe patients should not be limited to one choice or the other. That's why we've designed our telehealth platform to allow patients to connect with in-person providers in addition to connecting with providers remotely.

There are some circumstances where meeting with your therapist face-to-face is going to be more beneficial than meeting with them online. In these cases, it's nice to know that you can utilize the same platform you are already familiar with to schedule both in-person and virtual appointments.

Psychiatric care

Psychiatry and psychotherapy are terms that are often (incorrectly) used interchangeably. However, there is one vital distinction between these two mental health services.

A therapist is someone who is authorized to provide counseling and psychotherapy services, but not to prescribe medications. A psychiatrist, meanwhile, will often offer these same services but is authorized to prescribe medication to patients. With psychiatric care, monitoring medications tends to be a bigger focus than providing therapy.

Which of these services is best depends on your specific needs, which can often evolve over time. This makes it crucial to choose a telehealth platform such as SonderMind that provides access to both therapists and psychiatrists.

In-network with major insurance plans

Health insurance companies are finally catching up with the times, and many health plans now provide coverage for online therapy services. However, it is still important to make sure you choose an online therapy platform that is in-network with your insurance plan.

Being in-network means that a health care provider has a contract with your insurance company to provide services at a pre-negotiated rate. This usually translates to significant cost savings compared to working with an out-of-network provider.

At SonderMind, all of the mental health professionals on our platform are in-network with major insurance plans. This makes it easy for you to choose a cost-efficient provider without having to limit your options.

Quick access to care

Mental health care is not something that should be put off or delayed. This means you’ll want to choose a telehealth platform that provides on-demand access to licensed therapists.

But even the best telehealth platforms can still take a few days to connect you with providers and schedule an appointment. That means choosing a platform that connects you with providers as quickly as possible is vital to prioritize.

At SonderMind, we are able to match therapy seekers with their ideal provider in ten days or less. Once you have been matched with a provider on SonderMind, you will typically be able to schedule an appointment within a week. 

Feedback-informed treatment

Every patient is unique, and so is every provider. Sometimes, it takes a little time for providers to get to know their patients and customize their approach based on an individual's preferences and needs.

One of the most effective ways to speed up this process is by choosing a telehealth platform that offers feedback-informed treatment.

Thanks to feedback-informed care, clinical questionnaires, and measurement based care, SonderMind makes it easier for providers to better tailor their services to your unique needs. This feedback-informed approach to mental health treatment results in therapy sessions that are ultimately much more constructive and beneficial.

More helpful ways to support mental and emotional health

Using a teletherapy platform to meet with therapists via live video is an excellent way to support your mental and emotional wellbeing. However, improving your mental health is something that often requires a multi-faceted approach.

In addition to using a leading telehealth platform such as SonderMind to connect with therapists and psychiatrists online, there are several other effective options available to improve your mental health, including:

Connect with an in-person provider

We've already discussed how it's important to choose a telehealth platform that allows you to meet with in-person providers in addition to online providers. While online therapy can certainly be convenient and beneficial, meeting with an in-person therapist can allow for a more personal touch to  your therapy sessions.

Thankfully, SonderMind enables therapy seekers to schedule appointments with both online and in-person therapists, making it easy to choose the option that is best suited for you on an as-needed basis.

Wellness and self-care platforms

Wellness and self-care platforms provide a guided approach to improve your mental and behavioral health via tools and features such as:

  • Mental health questionnaires
  • Educational content
  • Wellness challenges
  • Wellness event calendars

Companies often provide access to these platforms for their staff as part of employee wellness programs. However, you'll have the option to sign up for a wellness platform on your own if your employer does not provide one.

Unlike telehealth platforms, wellness and self-care platforms typically do not provide access to online therapy. However, the various features these platforms do offer can serve as an excellent supplement to your therapy sessions.

Sleep tracker apps

Sleep and mental health are deeply connected. In fact, people who get less than six hours of sleep per night are 2.5 times more likely to experience frequent mental distress.

With sleep tracker apps, you can track not only how much sleep you get but also how deep you sleep  and other nighttime patterns. This allows you to take an informed approach to improving one of the most important elements of good mental health.

Support groups

Meeting with other people who face the same mental health challenges as you can be deeply beneficial. Today, there is a wide range of both in-person and online support groups for mental health conditions ranging from ADHD to eating disorders. 

Joining one of these support groups will allow you to form relationships with people that are on the same path so you can:

  • Share strategies
  • Support one another through challenging times
  • Socialize with like-minded individuals

Get matched with a provider today with SonderMind

At SonderMind, we make it easier than ever for therapy seekers to meet with both online and in-person therapists who are strategically matched to their specific preferences and needs.

All you have to do is fill out a simple intake form and SonderMind takes care of the rest, matching you with your ideal providers and scheduling an appointment in just a matter of days.

If you would like to take the first step on your journey to better mental health, SonderMind is here to help! To see why SonderMind is the best telehealth platform for mental health available, we invite you to get started today.

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