It’s often difficult for low-income New Yorkers to find the mental health care that they need in person, and that has only become more difficult due to the events of the last two years. Many people had no option to go into an office or didn’t feel comfortable doing so.
Remote options to address this problem have expanded dramatically. In fact, during 2020, some studies found that people made four out of five appointments virtually at state-licensed clinics. This was a dramatic shift and showed that people still had access to the care that they needed, even if it wasn’t in the conventional ways.
How many people did this help?
This was a benefit to a lot of people, with some estimates sitting right around 500,000 low-income workers in New York.
And it was clear from the increase in usage that this system was appreciated. In 2019, just one out of every 500 appointments was conducted virtually, using technology to allow people to meet with physicians and experts. As noted above, that jumped to 4 out of 5 the following year. This created a total of 4.4 million remote mental health care sessions out of a total of 5.6 million that were held during the year. To say that’s a dramatic increase is under-selling it.
It’s clear that medical care is changing in the modern era. Technology has a lot to do with that. Always make sure that you know exactly what options you have and what steps you’re going to need to take moving forward to get the care that you need in a way that works for you.