New data from Bay County shows that in-school mental health telehealth sessions are steadily increasing.
The rise in counseling sessions comes after telehealth company Let’s Talk Interactive (LTI) installed dozens of kiosks and iPad portals in schools across the region, including those Bay Calhoun, Gulf, Franklin, Jackson and Liberty counties.
The portals were deployed last year, in conjunction with First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Hope for Healing initiative, the Florida Department of Children & Families (DCF) and Big Bend Community Based Care (BBCBC). They were funded through insurance, Medicaid and Medicare and grants available through BBCBC.
The mental health teleportals were deployed quickly and with constant on-the-ground training, LTI is reporting a fourfold increase in child-focused therapy sessions since November.
“This is exciting news to see that actual utilization is up,” said LTI President Josh Botbol, “Children are now consistently receiving services, and not just getting the care they need, but saving taxpayers’ dollars while improving access.”
He noted that for many of these children, leaving school and driving to and from counselors can take precious hours from the school day, cost extra money for the counselors themselves and hinder access to important mental health care.
LTI founder and CEO Art Cooksey added, “This is exciting news and would not have been possible without the inspiration and encouragement of First Lady DeSantis, DCF Secretary Chad Poppell and of course the Bay County Schools.
“We knew there would be a slow ramp up with in-school training and ensuring everything was done properly prior to full utilization. But now that utilization is up in Bay County we will continue our focus in the other nearby counties.”
LTI creates custom, cutting-edge telemedicine solutions. LTI’s mission is to provide technology solutions that help providers offer access to quality health care coverage — regardless of local service levels — to eliminate gaps in the current system, improving care and lowering health care costs.