In challenging times, some people may struggle to maintain good mental and emotional health. Recent challenges like social isolation, the shortage of basic necessities, and even economic difficulties can be to blame. For those who may already face challenges, these can be magnified—especially with many communities practicing social distancing, it’s difficult to keep regular, face-to-face, contact with professionals who can help.
Luckily, many traditional therapists now offer telehealth options, and virtual therapy companies such as BetterHelp and TalkSpace already do so exclusively. With these options, clients can use email, messaging, phone calls, and/or video meetings to continue to get help from trained therapists, even when they can’t be physically present on site. Though some people prefer face-to-face therapy, telehealth options offer many benefits to clients that on-site counseling does not!
Telehealth can be useful for people who don’t own a car or have limited use of a car—or for those who normally rely on public transportation in an era where that option has been shut down, decreased, or may simply be too dangerous. With telehealth, you can meet with your therapist anywhere you have an internet connection, or even over the phone. There is no need to travel at all.
Because most childcare facilities and schools have been closed, and many people are remaining socially distant in their homes, finding childcare can seem nearly impossible. Telehealth allows clients to get counseling from the convenience of their own homes—no babysitters necessary.
When clients participate in counseling from their own homes, they may enjoy the increase in privacy. There is no sitting in a waiting room full of people they may know. At home, there’s no chance you’ll accidentally see a neighbor, colleague, or acquaintance at the therapist’s office.
An increased sense of privacy can also reduce feelings of shame that some people feel when they ask for help with emotional or mental struggles. Shame often comes when others outside the counseling office become aware of struggles—so eliminating most of that possibility can bring relief from those feelings. In turn, taking out the element of shame may inspire more people to seek the help they need.
Since telehealth allows for emails, messaging, and phone calls therapists are more easily accessible for a quick question or brief conversation when issues may come up during the week. Conversely, with the face-to-face counseling model, clients usually must wait a week or more to address any issues.
Since telehealth is more convenient and doesn’t require transportation, childcare, missed hours at work, and so on, it’s more likely clients will be able to keep their appointments. This makes life easier for clients and therapists alike.
The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County continues to support those in our community with mental health and addiction concerns during these trying times. Check out our list of community partners to find a telehealth option that is best for you, such as ACCADA and Appleseed Community Mental Health Center.