Telehealth keeping providers, patients connected

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) We've told you how telehealth is booming during the COVID-19 pandemic. And providers are finding it's a tool they will likely keep using in the future to connect with mental health patients.

Like most clinics, the Community Health Centers of Burlington saw a significant drop in patients when the pandemic hit. And they had to turn to telehealth for more appointments. They were already testing out Zoom before and say the video-conferencing platform has worked pretty well for them.

They told us while there are some limitations, in many ways, it has helped because it has removed some barriers to care, like transportation or taking time off of work.

"In many cases, behavioral health services are something we're going to want to do on a pretty regular basis. But again, if you have to take a whole half-day off work to get in, wait for your visit, have your visit and leave, that can keep people from engaging," said Heather Stein, the medical director at Community Health Centers of Burlington.

They told us normally this time of year is quieter for them for mental health calls but with the pandemic and the restrictions, it's been different. They say far more people are seeking services.