telehealth mental health virtual therapy

How Virtual Therapy + Telehealth Have Impacted Mental Health

By Liana Muaremi

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month! Mental health concerns have surged since the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the globe, these concerns are common for society as a whole. One in four people across the world will be impacted by a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their life. There are many obstacles preventing people from receiving behavioral healthcare. In the US, one in five adults has a mental illness, but only about 50% seek out treatment.  The stigma surrounding mental health is also a very big obstacle in the way of getting help. The number of mental health professionals has declined because of it.  During the pandemic, when people needed mental help more than ever, virtual therapy and telehealth became more prominent than ever.

 

Virtual therapy and telehealth have many benefits. If a patient wanted to discreetly go to therapy, they would be able to do so over their electronic device with secured privacy. Comparably, to an in-office appointment, this allows for a person to feel more comfortable in reaching out to seek treatment. Providers also can send out appointment reminders, mindfulness techniques, coping mechanisms, etc. all through the clicks of a few buttons. Speaking over a device also seems to ease much more tension and anxiety compared to in person. Telehealth represented less than 1% of outpatient care before the pandemic for both mental health and substance use and other concerns, compared to 40% during the pandemic’s peak. Virtual therapy and telehealth offer much more convenient and flexible options for both patients and providers. 

 

Virtual therapy and telehealth have been rapidly growing, and for good reason. The reduced wait times are a breath of fresh air for everyone. Asynchronous therapy options ease anxiety for patients while still delivering the blended care of talk therapy and coping mechanisms. A greater sense of safety is opened up on an online platform which eases tension. The greatest quality is diversity. Virtual therapy and telehealth allow for anyone in the world to receive treatment from some of the best providers globally.

 

With the stress of the ongoing pandemic, everyone deserves a free space to discuss their thoughts and feelings. Virtual therapy and telehealth are blessings in disguise to those that previously could not reach out for help. Take action and break the stigma!


by Liana Muaremi

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