Virtual Behavioral Health: Optimizing the Mental and Emotional Wellbeing of Your Workforce

One in every five U.S. adults experiences mental illness annually, making the need for high-quality behavioral health support essential – especially in the workplace. In a recent survey, 73% of Premise Health clients said increasing access to behavioral health resources​ was a top priority for their organization.

According to the World Health Organization, the benefits are vast. For every $1 put into scaled-up treatment for common mental disorders, there is a return of $4 in improved health and productivity.

With an abundance of virtual counseling options on the market, finding a high-quality and convenient mental health solution can make all the difference in helping workers feel more at ease. Read on to learn how virtual behavioral health can promote optimal wellbeing throughout your organization.

What is virtual behavioral health?

Virtual behavioral health, also known as teletherapy or online counseling, connects people to licensed behavioral health counselors from the comfort of home or on-the-go. Individuals can schedule an appointment through a secure healthcare portal where they can receive help for a variety of needs, including two of the most common diagnoses: anxiety and depression. After an initial consult, a treatment plan is developed to address their unique goals and help them work towards optimal mental and emotional wellness.

Someone seeking virtual behavioral health support can expect:

  • 30- to 60-minute appointments
  • Counseling delivered by a licensed behavioral health counselor or clinical psychologist
  • A short- or long-term counseling relationship that can vary in length based on need, but on average can range between 1-3 or 12-15 sessions

Whatever your population may need, providing high-quality behavioral health support, whether in-person or virtual, can make all the difference in the wellbeing of your workforce.

What does virtual behavioral health treat?

Virtual counselors can deliver the same type of care as an onsite behavioral health provider, including helping their patients manage stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, sleep issues, work/life balance, family conflict or parenting concerns, adjustment challenges, and learning difficulties. Other capabilities include:

  • Evidence-based, solution-focused psychotherapy
  • Psychosocial assessments and treatment plans
  • Screenings for suicide, depression, anxiety, and others as needed
  • Psychological testing and assessments

Along with this, behavioral health professionals can assess and treat individuals facing crisis and facilitate specialist referrals when needed. Whether care is preventive, or intervention focused, virtual providers facilitate high-value care that supports people in their everyday lives.

Is virtual counseling available to both remote and on campus workers?

Yes, and providing high-quality mental health services for the total population is easier than one might think. Regardless of your employees’ physical location – whether in the office or a remote environment – providing both physical and digital access points will ensure they can get mental health support when and where it’s most convenient for them.

If in person, workers can meet with their behavioral health provider on campus at an onsite health center or in the community at a nearsite wellness center. If they’re remote-based or away on vacation and need to talk with their provider, they can also reach them by phone. However they choose to connect, offering a combination of both virtual and in-person support removes barriers to care, keeps employees engaged in their health journey, and leads to better outcomes.

How does virtual primary care and virtual behavioral health work together?

Integrating virtual primary care with virtual behavioral health is a highly effective solution that promotes a holistic, whole-person approach to care. Primary care providers serve as the quarterbacks of the healthcare system and can identify members in need of behavioral health support. At Premise, virtual primary care providers are part of a centralized care team that work with other virtual behavioral health counselors, pharmacists, and occupational health nurses. Using the same healthcare platform, they can seamlessly refer their patients to other providers on the care team or community resources when needed.

Behavioral health solutions paired with primary care creates opportunity for impact whether that’s intervening with people in crisis or filling care gaps. With primary care providers trained to recognize behavioral health concerns and make referrals to licensed counselors, workers get the best care possible.

Behavioral health and primary care in action

Suppose someone is struggling with anxiety due to financial insecurity. During their annual physical their primary care provider asks how they’re feeling, and the individual reveals they’re anxious most of the time but can’t afford therapy. The provider connects them to their organization’s virtual behavioral health provider for a virtual therapy session. In the meantime, they also recommend a free online platform like Find Help with Premise that connects people to social services in their community for things like food stamps, financial aid, and housing assistance.

High-quality behavioral health support at Premise Health

At Premise Health, we strive to remove barriers that often prevent people from seeking treatment for mental illness – access issues, high cost, stigma, and lack of support. From dedicated behavioral health support at our local wellness centers to centralized licensed behavioral health counselors via our Digital Wellness Center – we offer integrated virtual and in-person solutions that meet people where they are. To learn more, click here.

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