A growing topic of conversation among state and local policymakers is whether states should plan to make permanent the many flexibilities, particularly related to telehealth adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic. To address this, states and localities could establish a task force/working group to study the long-term effects of the changes before making them permanent.
State and local policymakers should consider adopting policies focused on the mental health needs of transition age youth. For example, policymakers could establish an emergency program for pupil mental health or fund additional school mental health support personnel. They should also consider supporting training programs for teachers and administrators
State and local policymakers may want to consider creating a racial disparities task force and action plan/roadmap that includes a charge to remove barriers to accessing mental health care, including increasing culturally meaningful screening, early intervention and linkage to treatment in primary health care and community settings.
State and local policymakers could consider policy options that provide technical assistance to mental health providers on how to allay heightened anxiety and privacy concerns for online treatment.
State and local policymakers should consider policy options that establish payment parity for online services and/or eliminate co-payments for telemental health services.
State and local policymakers may want to consider expanding private coverage and Medicaid to cover telemental health services to help increase access. It would also help to expand the types of mental health providers who can be reimbursed for conducting assessments and providing telemental health services, as well as provide licensure flexibility for out-of-state residents.