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Study: 9 in 10 K-12 schools now using online therapy and special education services

National survey of 400 administrators reveals dramatic uptick in teletherapy adoption by U.S. schools in response to COVID-19

LEHI, UTAH, UNITED STATES, May 19, 2021 / -- eLuma, the leader in online therapy and special education for American K-12 schools, today released its 2021 State of Therapy in K-12 Schools report, the company’s first national survey of K-12 administrators on the topics of online therapy and special education adoption in K-12 settings nationwide.

“This report provides a window into how American K-12 schools and districts mobilized to continue providing vital services to their students in the midst of the ongoing pandemic,” said eLuma Founder and CEO Jeremy Glauser. “Prior to COVID-19, adoption of online therapy and special education services was experiencing robust growth. Our study shows that the pandemic dramatically accelerated this trend.”

eLuma polled more than 400 senior administrators at U.S. K-12 schools and districts for the study, which revealed that demand and engagement in online therapy and special education shot up during the pandemic, as did demand for mental health services through K-12 schools.

Key findings include:

● COVID-19 marked a significant shift in the delivery of therapy and special education from in-person to online, with 89% of administrators using online therapy now vs. 62% who reported zero students receiving online therapy pre-COVID.

● Nearly 3 in 4 K-12 school administrators felt unprepared for the move to online therapy, but they adapted quickly, with 75% reporting they were able to provide adequate online therapy by fall 2020.

● 88% of respondents said their in-person therapists and counselors had to provide online services amid COVID, which was a major adjustment since only 27% of those therapists had any previous training in online therapy.

● 83% reported that online therapists were effective in delivering desired outcomes, which is comparable to 89% who reported positive outcomes from in-person therapy.

● Sourcing and hiring qualified therapists and practitioners became a major issue during the pandemic, especially for schools in rural areas.

● 30% of administrators reported that demand for mental health services grew more than any other service during COVID, doubling the next-highest therapy category.

The report’s findings reinforce general trends across teletherapy, according to data curated by the American Psychological Association. The pandemic limited in-person social interaction, straining mental health for millions of Americans and making it harder to receive therapeutic services. As a result, online therapy in general has grown in popularity, with several studies suggesting that teletherapy is an effective way to deliver positive outcomes.

“At a time when so many have been craving connection and continuity, online therapy and special education services have been literal lifesavers for K-12 students in American schools,” Glauser said. “This study, along with other data points, proves that the need and continued adoption of teletherapy is not only on the rise, but it’s here to stay in K-12 education and beyond.”

Read the full report here.

About eLuma Online Therapy

eLuma Online Therapy is one of the nation’s premier providers of teletherapy services for K-12 special education. The company provides an array of services, which includes speech, occupational, and physical therapies to thousands of students all over the U.S. Due to rapidly growing demand, eLuma also facilitates effective online delivery of mental health services (e.g. assessment, school psychology, social work, behavior intervention) to schools and districts in dire need of support. All of these services are delivered live and online by high-quality therapists using the company’s proprietary platform and innovative case management system. eLuma’s Online Therapy Platform is built to ensure maximum efficacy, efficiency, dependability and a better overall experience for students, parents, and administrators alike. For more information:

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