NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An important improvement in mental health access is developing as a result of the COVID pandemic.

The government and insurance companies are now reimbursing for telehealth behavorial therapy.

READ MORE: 2-Year-Old Shot In Head In Newark Survives Emergency Surgery, Family Says; Police Looking For Suspects

Mental health issues have always taken a tremendous toll on society: Economic, physical and emotional. During the pandemic and a divided political climate, it’s even greater.

While telehealth doctor’s visits are now reimbursable by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, for the most part tele-mental health treatments have not been.

That’s now changing.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

If you simply search “depression” in social media, and you’ll see how rampant mental health issues are right now. While there are self-help videos on the topic, mental illness is usually not a do-it-yourself fix, especially now.

A recent study in JAMA Network Open found that symptoms of depression are now more than triple what they were pre-pandemic. Those economically disadvantaged are at greatest risk, and the biggest barrier to treatment is cost.

READ MORE: Group Marches Across Manhattan Bridge To Protest Shooting Death Of Daunte Wright In Minnesota

Enter telehealth mental therapy, as led by Brooklyn’s CHE Behavioral Health Services. Their CEO explains that not only is tele-mental health virtually the same as in-person talk therapy, in some ways, it’s better.

KEEPING UP YOUR OWN WELL-BEING

“Walking out of your home comes with a degree of danger, fear, whatnot. And so having the ability to have help literally be one click away and still remaining in the comfort of their own home, and having the psychologists be able to see the person in their home environment while they have their, you know, the comfort of whatever security that gives them, has actually proven to be a really effective means of treatment,” said Raphael Treitel.

MENTAL HEALTH & SOBRIETY RESOURCES

CHE is currently doing over 1,000 visits a day via their 700 certified mental health professionals. While the federal reimbursement is technically temporary, hundreds of insurance companies are now paying for tele-mental health treatment, so it is likely to become permanent.

MORE NEWS: Hundreds Gather At Police Dept. In Minneapolis Suburb For 2nd Night Of Daunte Wright Protests

You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.