Breaking down the barrier to deliver critical behavioral health services via “tele-health” services is now being recognized and covered by the major health insurance providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, and AETNA in the State of Illinois.
Some feel that can be taken a step further.
Wendy Hayum-Gross, a licensed therapist and co-owner of Grow Wellness Group urged community members to sign a petition, started by Kathleen McShane, a licensed therapist and director of Begin Within Therapy. The petition calls for insurance providers to offer “telemental-health” for everyone in Illinois.
What is Telemental-Health?
The new provision will be a vehicle to provide behavioral health services that are HIPPA compliant without face-to-face interaction with the client.
Since health officials are asking community members to stay home when possible to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the need for expanded “tele-health” services could be more important than ever.
“People who are normally coming to see us are already sometimes depressed, anxious, or fearful,” said Hayum-Gross. “And the current pandemic situation only amplifies that. Although we know groups of 10 or less are sanctioned by the government, it still doesn’t make people feel comfortable sometimes, especially if they’re immune-suppressed or have other health issues.”
It’s Ok Not To Feel Ok
Hayum-Gross said it is normal for community members to have their fear, anxiety, and insecurity levels increase during these unprecedented times, which could explain why they feel the need to buy items like toilet paper in bulk.
“That fear of not knowing what they’re going to need makes people feel like they need everything,” said Hayum-Gross.
But there are ways community members can reduce their levels of fear, anxiety, and insecurity.
“The main things are: get enough sleep, have a healthy diet, and to have some movement like physical exercise. Those three things are the pillars that hold up our mental and physical health,” said Hayum-Gross. “So it’s really important, although we’re practicing our social distancing, to workout at home or go for a walk or a run. Being out in nature can be really cathartic.”
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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