According to an ongoing study that began in April 2020, 24% of Americans aged 18+ reported having at least one symptom of depression in the previous two years.1 To better support employees struggling with depression, employers can offer stress-free, convenient access to virtual care for anxiety, depression, grief and other mental health concerns. Better access to healthcare makes a difference when it comes to attracting and retaining employees, as well as encouraging a healthier workforce.
56% of adults with a mental illness are going untreated.2 But with virtual primary care paired with virtual mental health, employers can offer a tried-and-true benefit to their employees to support them throughout their unique healthcare journeys. Medication therapy combined with counseling is an important treatment strategy for those struggling with depression. Virtual primary care can provide medication therapy for many mental health conditions while virtual mental health can provide counseling for dual therapy.
Here are the ways virtual care can provide support for depression:
Quick Appointment Turnaround: With virtual care, employees can schedule appointments 24/7 and visit with a primary care physician (PCP) or virtual counselor in about 3 to 5 days. Currently, the national wait time to see a psychologist is 6 weeks and the wait times to see a PCP is more than 3 weeks.3,4 Virtual care significantly reduces the time to see a doctor or counselor and gets employees help where and when they need it.
Access: Along with shortening the wait time to see a counselor, virtual mental health makes support easily accessible. There is a worsening shortage of mental health providers in the US.5 But with virtual care, employees can visit with a virtual doctor or counselor in the comfort and safety of a space of their choosing via app, website or phone call. There are no geographic limitations with virtual primary care or virtual mental health, expanding access to meaningful mental health support. Plus, there are no pre-defined restrictions on the number of visits, allowing patients to see their doctor or counselor as many times as they need.
Cost: Cost is a big deterrent for seeking support for depression with appointments ranging from $100 to $200 per visit. And, to receive the best results, a patient must continually visit a doctor over many weeks, months or years. With virtual care, employees can access quality, cost-free mental health support for themselves or family members.
Removing Barriers: Aside from cost and access being two of the biggest barriers to care, there are other personal deterrents to consider. Taking time off work, travel and finding care for loved ones can prevent a person from seeking care. Since virtual care is digital and appointments take place via app, website or over the phone, patients don’t have to skip appointments due to personal barriers.
Whole-Person Health Guidance: With virtual primary care, doctors guide employees through the right treatment plans for their mental health condition. Mental health and physical health are intricately interwoven, and doctor and counselor guidance support these dualities.
First Stop Health (FSH) Virtual Primary Care & Virtual Mental Health
With Virtual Primary Care and Virtual Mental Health from First Stop Health, members who are caregivers have access to FSH virtual doctors for prescription management and counselors for short-term, solution-focused counseling 24/7. Appointments take place virtually from the comfort and safety of whatever space they prefer, and it is little-to-no cost to use. Personal barriers are removed so members can prioritize their health and still support their loved ones.