The American Board of Telehealth offers new certificate focused on virtual mental health

American Board of Telehealth
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The program consists of seven learning modules that range from introductory topics in telehealth to clinical applications and regulatory considerations.

The American Board of Telehealth has opened registration for its new self-paced, online behavioral telehealth certification program.

In response to growing behavioral health needs during the pandemic, the ABT developed this curriculum to give mental health professionals the tools to effectively deliver behavioral health services through telehealth.

"The COVID-19 pandemic set off a new wave of mental health and substance abuse issues across the country. With anxiety and depression on the rise, behavioral telehealth is one way to increase services, especially in rural or underserved areas,” Whitney Flanagan, RN, director of education for the American Board of Telehealth, said in a statement.

“Our goal is to deliver the training and education necessary to ensure a variety of providers in different settings are up to date on emerging tools and approaches to ensure the best quality care possible for patients.”

The program consists of seven learning modules that range from introductory topics in telehealth to clinical applications and regulatory considerations. The content also includes material on unique topics such as child and elder care and cultural competency.

It was designed to be applicable for a range of healthcare professionals, including psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, prevention specialists and more, according to the announcement. Registration costs $395 for individuals and $195 for students, with discounts available for team training.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic fallout has caused many people to experience new or worsening behavioral health implications. During the pandemic, more than 40% of U.S. adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, compared to just 11% in the months prior to the outbreak, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey.

A separate KFF survey from July 2020 found that a significant number of adults experience difficulty sleeping (36%) or eating (32%), increases in alcohol and substance use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions (12%) due to pandemic-related stress.

"Telehealth is a powerful medium, but providers need new skills and knowledge to ensure it reaches its full potential,” Dr. Matthew Stanley, clinical vice president of Behavioral Health Service Line Avera eCARE and founding board member of the American Board of Telehealth, said in a statement.

“This innovative certificate program delivers next-level training, specifically for mental health practitioners, that will enable them to engage with patients on a deeper level to improve outcomes. And it couldn't come at a more critical time given the rise in mental health issues during the pandemic."

THE LARGER TREND

The increasing demand for mental health support has been met with a large supply of digital health startups pitching their solutions.

Veteran teletherapy platform Talkspace was recently awarded nearly $7 million in research grants from the NIH to study patients’ experiences with digital mental health services.

App-based primary care provider 98point6 recently updated its platform with a new integrated behavioral health offering for its employer, health plan and health system clientele.

Also in the employer market is Modern Health, which recently acquired fellow digital mental health startup Kip and closed a $74 million Series D funding round. There’s also Lyra Health, which completed a Series E round worth $187 million earlier this year.

The American Board of Telehealth offers new certificate focused on virtual mental health