COVID-19 has brought about many lifestyle changes that are starting to feel like the “new normal.” One of those is telehealth: meeting with health and wellness care providers over video. So far, results have been overwhelmingly positive.
A survey conducted by Tridiuum uncovered some encouraging numbers related to telehealth for mental health care providers and their clients:
“The survey found that 81 percent of behavioral health providers began using telehealth for the first time in the last six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even more importantly, 70 percent of respondents reported they plan to continue offering telehealth services post-pandemic, and that they intend to leverage video visits for at least 50 percent of their patients moving forward.”
Of course, COVID-19 is what prompted so many providers to start using telehealth in the first place. However, as we continue to live in a pandemic with no clear timeline, it’s important to maintain safety measures to help slow the spread of the virus, especially for our more vulnerable populations.
With telehealth, waiting rooms are replaced with living rooms. There’s no chance of running into a coworker or neighbor as you walk into your appointment. This increased sense of privacy has encouraged more people to seek out help. Additionally, those who feel embarrassed or ashamed about seeking treatment may feel more comfortable meeting from home because it doesn’t feel like “such a big deal” compared to driving somewhere, entering a strange building, and adjusting to a completely new environment while also trying to access personal experiences and feelings.
Child care, scheduling, and transportation issues are common barriers to receiving care. Telehealth has allowed greater ease of access to care while saving people gas money, childcare costs, travel time, and stress. Easier access also means fewer cancellations and no-shows, which makes life easier for care providers and increases positive outcomes for clients.
Telehealth also allows for easier partner and family work. Before the onset of telehealth, arranging for the involvement of spouses and other family members was notoriously challenging. Telehealth conveniently allows for key family members to be part of the counseling process.
We all hope that COVID-19 will end soon, but until then, you can find telehealth services through our Community Partners and Agencies.