Journal of Counseling Research and Practice


The term telemental health has become a staple of the modern counselor’s lexicon since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and has led to a surge of new research and practical information for counselors to engage in effective, socially distanced mental health services. Telemental health (TMH) is identified as the use of telecommunication, videoconferencing, and internet-based technologies to provide mental health services (Holland et al., 2018). Although TMH is regarded as an efficient treatment modality for a myriad of mental health issues, the cardinal purpose of its origination was to reduce or eliminate geographic barriers to receiving mental health treatment by mental health care providers (Bischoff et al., 2004). Rural communities, in particular, face extraordinary challenges in accessing mental health services and experiencing disproportionate challenges such as geographic isolation, limited access to healthcare specialists and subspecialists, limited job opportunities, lower socioeconomic status, poor infrastructure, and higher rates of health risk behaviors that make them more vulnerable (Chan et al., 2016; Tarlow et al., 2019). This brief report seeks to provide an overview of Mississippi’s response to implementing TMH services and examine the overall accessibility to licensed counselors who are trained and/or certified to provide telemental health services.