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Telehealth and behavioral health

Telehealth is a safe and convenient option for getting behavioral health care at home. You may be able to attend appointments without needing transportation, taking time off work, or arranging for childcare. Those factors can be important in a long-term treatment plan.

Man sitting in chair at desk. Woman on monitor screen.

What behavioral health services are available via telehealth?

Many behavioral health services are available remotely. Virtual visits can be a convenient way to access:

  • One on one therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Text therapy
  • Addiction counseling
  • Medication prescribing
  • Medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders
  • Medication monitoring
  • Mental health screening
  • Referrals
  • Anxiety and depression monitoring

Tip: Tips for Using Telehealth for Behavioral Health (PDF)

Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Services Through Telehealth – Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

What can I expect?

Most telehealth appointments are video calls on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Behavioral health appointments may also include voice calls or text messages. Smartphone apps may also be used in behavioral telehealth care. These can include digital tools for monitoring your health, such as tracking your moods. Other apps may help to improve your behavioral health outside of appointments, such as apps with guided meditations.

Prepare for your visit by finding a quiet place with a reliable internet connection. Make sure you feel safe so that you can be honest and open with your behavioral health care provider.

Tip: Learn more about what you’ll need for a virtual visit.

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How much do behavioral telehealth services cost?

The cost of telehealth visits will depend on your health care provider and insurance carrier. Many insurance carriers cover telehealth with the same benefits as in-person appointments. Talk to your health insurance provider to understand the cost before your visit.

Tip: No insurance? Learn more about financial assistance resources.

Are behavioral telehealth visits private?

Privacy is an important part of feeling safe to share personal information with your health care provider. Even though telehealth appointments take place online, they are as private as in-person visits.

Your provider will call from a private space, such as an office. Find a quiet space where you will feel comfortable speaking openly to them. If you can’t find a place for your appointment where you can be honest and open about your mental health, let your health care provider know. You may be able to email or text instead.

Telehealth calls use your regular internet service or data plan. But, health care providers often use secure patient portals to message, call, and video chat. These connections are more secure than the typical internet.

Telehealth video appointments are not recorded. Your information is as private and safe as it would be if you were receiving in-person care.

Tip: Read more about telehealth privacy.

How do I access behavioral telehealth services?

Many behavioral health care providers now offer telehealth for outpatient services. Talk to your health care provider about their telehealth options and if virtual care is a good fit for you.

Patients that are a good fit for telehealth care may still face difficulties. Learn more about resources that may help with obstacles, including:

Find help and treatment now

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.

  • National Maternal Mental Health Hotline 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline 1-800-662-4357