The COVID-19 pandemic has made a sweeping impact on the way mental health practitioners and psychiatrists offer their services and look after their patients. Before the pandemic struck and before lockdowns and shelter-in-place policies were set up, video conferencing technology was already a core part of how some businesses operated, but some professions, such as those in the medical industry, were not quite so quick to embrace the technology. At the time, people still preferred personal visits and appointments over the idea of holding consultations through video calls.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed all that. When it first began, mental health professionals were among many practitioners who had to look for alternative ways to monitor their patients when everyone was told to stay home. Clinicians from Prairie Health and other institutions had to adjust to the abrupt changes in such a way that wouldn’t compromise the mental health of their patients.
While telemedicine won’t be able to fully take the place of face-to-face visits, which are still required for critical, severe, or emergency cases, physicians and psychiatrists can’t deny that it does offer a lot of benefits.
- It Minimizes The Risk Of Contagious Diseases
With the pandemic still ongoing, patients continue to benefit from the use of telemedicine in mental health care. Because many psychiatrists and physicians have opened up virtual practices through video calls and online consultations, patients don’t have to travel to their psychiatrist’s clinic for an in-person visit. In addition, they no longer have to spend time in hallways or waiting rooms as they await their therapy appointment.
This spares them from having to leave their homes and risk being exposed to people who may be carrying contagious diseases—not just coronavirus but other diseases, such as the common cold or chickenpox. They don’t have to compromise their safety to be able to get mental healthcare. This has also allowed clinicians to effectively manage the mental health of their patients while adhering to social distancing protocols.
- It Makes Mental Health Services More Accessible
Before mental healthcare was made available online, some people may have been hesitant to seek help from a mental health expert or psychiatrist, for a number of different reasons. For some, it may have been due to the fact that there weren’t any mental health facilities or clinics near their area. Others may have been worried about their privacy, as they don’t want people they know to be privy to their situation.
Now that a number of mental health institutions and professionals have moved their practice online, more and more people are finding that the barriers that previously held them back no longer apply. They now have access to numerous mental healthcare services, such as https://www.prairiehealth.co/ and other sites, and they can choose which one best suits their needs and situation.
For example, people who aren’t comfortable with video calls or phone calls can easily find a service that allows them to communicate with a therapist via chat or text. If location and lack of mental health services in the area was previously a problem, people no longer have to worry about making a long commute for a single appointment.
With better accessibility to mental healthcare, the general public, especially potential patients, may be more encouraged to seek the help they need instead of opting to cope with their situation on their own.
- It Allows Mental Healthcare To Be More Affordable
Cost is also a barrier that has been knocked down by online mental health services. Most of these services are more affordable than those that require face-to-face visits and in-person appointments, which allows patients to reduce their spending on mental healthcare.
Not only does it allow people to save money they would’ve spent on fare or gas to get to the clinic, but the services themselves are cheaper. In fact, with the growing number of people who prefer the convenience of online therapy, the market has become more competitive, and so services have had to adjust their prices to deal with this.
Like many industries and businesses, mental healthcare has shifted to include online services and operations, and this development has brought many benefits with it. With the pandemic ongoing, the most obvious advantage of services such as online therapy is that it allows people to continue to receive care from the safety of their home; however, as you can see from the points above, that’s not the only great thing about it.
Many people think that in order for mental healthcare to move online, we need to detach ourselves from in-person visits, treatments and prescriptions, and the usual healthcare ideals that have been in practice for decades. That’s not so. You can still gain the effects of treatment for treatment-resistant depression, for instance, and still sustain a healthy support approach online.
Additionally, the availability of online mental healthcare benefits not only current patients but potential patients as well, who may be seeking help for their problems. In this digital world, shifting to online platforms is an effective way of making mental healthcare more accessible to people who previously would have had difficulty obtaining it.