In March of 2020, a pandemic swept the world that seemed to stop it from turning.
In an attempt to contain the virus, many countries placed their territories under quarantine, and implemented health safety protocols such as social distancing and wearing of face masks. As a result, millions of people around the globe took a pause, and experienced a drastic change in their daily routines.
As the healthcare industry responded by taking the cudgels in the fight against Covid-19, many facilities offering medical consultation have now switched to online platforms and methods such as videoconferencing or video-calling to extend their services. The mental health industry is no exception.
With many people already struggling with existing mental health issues, the current state of the world did not help with their situation.
If you are one of these people, you might want to consider taking your usual face-to-face sessions with your therapist to your device.
Here’s a list of reasons why telehealth psychiatry or telepsychiatry is the future of therapy:
1) It’s convenient.
The whole point of telehealth psychiatry is exactly that – to somehow go through scheduled consultation and communication that would normally be carried out in a clinic, but is currently difficult to do, if not completely out of the question.
Clinics for counseling and psychotherapy tend to be in more discreet places than, say, your regular general practitioners. These are places you usually have to drive to and sit in a waiting room for.
Instead of having to get out of your way to get to your therapist’s place, the world has now given you a reason to get your mental health in check despite being far from facilities that take care of it.
Many psychiatrists have revealed that since quarantine started, their patients have had more consistent sessions with them. Not having to check your schedule for your day off, looking for a space to park, and the effort of calculating travel time to arrive on time is no longer that much of a concern.
2. It’s comfortable.
Are you the kind of person who has always thought about getting therapy but have not yet tried it since?
Relax. A lot of people have always found the idea of seeing a shrink very daunting. It’s the reason that mental health issues have been on the rise in recent years.
The psychiatric industry has always looked at this problem, and tried to find ways not only to make it more accessible to people to get therapy, but also to erase the stigma of mental illness or getting treatment for it.
For telehealth psychiatry to be fully established, people should be given the space to be vulnerable about their concerns and issues, but most of all, be given the privacy that they deserve.
What better place to express your problems than in the comfort of your own home? Because many people are uncomfortable with consulting a psychiatrist in a clinic setting, telehealth psychiatry seeks to provide that same service wherever you are comfortable.
3. It’s great for emergencies.
Fancy a trip to the emergency room when you’re on the verge of a mental breakdown, stressed, or frustrated? I guess not.
Just like emergency physical care, our brain can sometimes require immediate attention, especially when it comes to disorders that are prone to sudden attacks.
Telemedicine has already existed on many platforms, but for psychiatric issues, hotlines are usually the way to go.
That’s great and all, but services like that aren’t meant to be a long-term thing. They are usually meant to provide a space for inquiry, or for those who need communication with another human being during a time where they are very unstable and just need another person to talk them through it.
There is nothing like having a professional with lots of experience handling these outbursts, but who also knows you as a patient, just like any doctor would in a space that gives ample time for you to explain your thoughts.
4. It’s just as effective.
Telehealth and psychiatry and their relationship with each other have been the topic of research for several decades now. What started as a collaboration between psychiatric training and research institutes has now blossomed into a global platform in several media, along with the rapid developments in technology.
The question “does it work?” has also been asked just as long.
Well, the short answer is yes. Various studies have revealed that telehealth psychiatry is just as effective at improving one’s mental condition as face-to-face sessions do.
However, like many things that have been recently implemented as actual practice, more evidence is needed to prove that indeed, this can substitute previously established methods.
But, since we are in a global pandemic, it’s best to look at the options that are made available and feasible for your situation.
5. More people need it.
Thanks to initiatives and public figures who have shed light on how important it is to pay attention to our mental health, society has become more open and accepting to these problems.
During a time of isolation, and with most events getting canceled, the state of the economy, and the lives of millions of people have been disrupted.
Many people have even lost their jobs, or are currently facing the virus themselves whether as patients or frontline workers.
It’s no surprise that more and more people have been getting anxious and depressed.
WHO even suggests that individuals must limit the time they spend every day in checking for COVID-19 updates.
To help people cope with this, the remote services of telehealth psychiatry protects people from getting overwhelmed.
As the world struggles to cope with this problem, many people also hope to get out of this alive and well.
It is best to keep a positive state of mind and know that efforts are being made to curb the problems, and obtaining professional opinion is now within your reach, more than ever before.
Should you find yourself in a state of confusion, know that help is now just a phone call or a few clicks away.