Pandemic switch to telehealth led to more mental-health treatments, study finds

Doctors switching from in-person mental health care to telehealth during early pandemic lockdowns facilitated a rise in the number of Americans seeking treatment for emotional disturbances, a recent study found.
Six researchers published the national study of 5.1 million commercially insured adults Friday in JAMA Health Forum. They found that while in-person visits dropped by more than 50% in 2020, the number of people seeking telehealth services for five mental disorders grew between 16- and 20-fold. 
Overall, the rates of Americans seeking weekly care for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, adjustment disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder increased by 4% to 14% after March 13, 2020. That was the date public officials declared COVID-19 a national health emergency. 
The study confirms telehealth has expanded Americans’ access to behavioral and mental health services, said lead researcher Christopher M. Whaley, a health economist at the RAND Corporation.
“The sustained use of telehealth contrasts
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