COVID and Mental Health: Why Remote Therapy is an Essential Resource
The COVID crisis has forced almost everyone to adapt. Some jobs have gone remote, and others have been lost altogether. Parents are adjusting to remote work even as they attempt to monitor their children’s remote school sessions. It’s harder to find quality time with support networks like friends, family, and colleagues. Relationships are more difficult to build and maintain. Many people have even lost a loved one.
Any of these changes can represent a serious mental health challenge. Many individuals and families are dealing with several of them at once. Meanwhile, traditional in-office therapy can be more difficult than ever to access given the nature of the COVID crisis and social-distancing.
This situation has added up to a true mental health crisis.
In this blog, we take a look at this crisis and how remote therapy has emerged as a powerful tool for navigating these trying times.
The COVID Mental Health Crisis
A poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly half of US adults say the pandemic has affected their mental health. Anxiety, depression, and substance abuse have all seen an uptick.
- 30 percent of adults had symptoms of depressive disorder, compared to 6.6 percent last year
- 36 percent had symptoms of an anxiety disorder, compared to 8.2 percent last year.
People across the country are simply feeling overwhelmed by change, fear, grief, and isolation. To make matters worse, the sheer uncertainty of the COVID crisis can make it hard to see light at the end of the tunnel. These difficulties are compounded by the fact that many self-care and coping mechanisms have also been affected by the virus. Regular sleep, healthy eating, social contact, and our daily routines have all been affected.
This combination of factors is precisely why therapy is more important now than ever.
Unfortunately, COVID has also complicated the traditional therapy delivery method: making an appointment for in-office therapy. First, social distancing makes in-office therapy extremely challenging (and against regulations in many areas). Second, life demands can make it difficult to feel like you have the time or flexibility for regular therapy. This can be especially true for groups like working moms , dads, and college students. Finally, simple geography can make finding a therapist difficult for those in rural or remote areas.
Fortunately, remote therapy is offering an essential support resource that’s ideally suited for the COVID crisis (and beyond).
Available through secure video and phone sessions, this approach directly avoids some of the biggest challenges associated with finding mental health support during the COVID crisis. Social distancing is not an issue. Dispensing with the need to drive to and from appointments can make scheduling simpler than ever. And the ability to conduct appointments from home, work, or even outside or on vacation means more flexibility than ever.
In fact, this approach has been so successful that it’s becoming not just a temporary fix for the COVID crisis, but an important part of the future of therapy. The New York Times reports that peer-reviewed studies show remote therapy “can be just as effective as in-person therapy for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.”
Our experiences at the Wellness Connection bear out this research. While the remote approach offers some new challenges, it also has real benefits compared to traditional in-office therapy. We take a look at the pro’s and con’s of remote therapy in our blog here.
Learning More About Remote Therapy with The Wellness Connection
As the COVID crisis unfolded, The Wellness Connection immediately realized that delivering quality remote therapy would be an essential part of our mission going forward.
We worked hard to institute a high-quality remote therapy model almost overnight. Dedicated software allows us to conduct fully HIPAA compliant virtual therapy sessions using either phone or video. This setup also makes it simple for our patients to view records, manage billing, and submit insurance claims.
If you’re interested in exploring options for remote therapy, please give us a call at (703) 327-0335 or send us an e-mail at email@example.com.