The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in innumerable ways. But, as stressful as this lockdown has been for most of us, we have learned much about ourselves as individuals and as a nation.
Another silver lining that has emerged from this crisis is a new awareness and embracing of treatment tools that have been available for some time. Telehealth (or telemedicine) and online therapy have been around for decades but are now experiencing a surge in popularity because of the mandatory quarantine.
Once life gets back to normal, will these virtual tools fall by the wayside? It’s doubtful because they simply offer too many benefits to patients and providers.
Here are some benefits of online therapy and why you may want to start making the switch:
Better Access to Care
In some rural areas of the country, it’s not easy to find qualified mental health therapists. Online therapy would provide access to care to anyone that needs it, regardless of where they live.
Online therapy would allow for the integration of behavioral health care and primary care. This will ultimately lead to better outcomes for the patient.
Despite the progress we’ve made over the last couple of decades, there is still a stigma attached to mental health treatments. This stops many people from seeking the help they need. Online therapy means an individual can receive help from the comfort of their home without anyone knowing.
How often do patients cancel appointments or show up late because of other family and/or work responsibilities or traffic jams? Access to online therapy would reduce many of these scenarios.
We are currently seeing a situation where it isn’t safe to be around other people. And yet, should a person lose access to mental health care because of illness and disease? Certainly not.
What about unsafe weather? In many parts of the country, there are snowstorms, icy roads, and hurricanes that make it impossible to travel safely.
Online therapy allows people to receive the help they need, regardless of any unsafe conditions.
Access for Disabled Populations
Oftentimes the people who need therapy the most are the very people who find it difficult to leave their homes or navigate the outside world. Online therapy allows bedridden patients and those with debilitating chronic illnesses access to the help they need.