One of the positive outcomes from the last year of disruption is the increase of accessibility for those seeking healthcare appointments, particularly in the mental health arena. Because of the necessity for telehealth services during a season of isolation, it has never been easier to seek help for emotional distress and substance use. If you’re unsure whether telehealth is a viable option for you, here are some of the advantages that using telehealth options can provide.
Sometimes, meeting with a counselor or a therapist for the first time can feel very intimidating and vulnerable, which can keep us from taking that first step toward better mental health or substance use support. However, technology has made us all just a little more used to the idea of connecting with others through video. The distance that a screen provides allows you to meet with a mental health professional in the comfort of your own home, which might make it easier for you to connect with that person.
Before, making an appointment with a mental health professional required coordinating transportation, childcare, time away from work, and more just to make it to the appointment. With telehealth, all you need is your smartphone, laptop, or tablet with internet access. The physical convenience of telehealth removes these barriers to seeking help for emotional distress and substance use.
Another advantage of telehealth services is that you aren’t limited to the providers within your community. If you need to seek specialized help out of town, it’s likely that the provider will be able to offer a telehealth option so that you don’t have to take additional time away to get to and from that appointment.
Even local providers offer telehealth appointments so that you have the flexibility to meet in person or virtually, depending on your needs and schedule.
There may be some individuals who just don’t feel comfortable using telehealth services, and that’s okay! Another thing we’ve all learned in the last year and a half is the deep value and significance of human relationships and connections. At the end of the day, being able to sit down with another person and share how you’re doing can make all the difference.
If you aren’t sure whether telehealth services are the right option for you, there’s no harm in giving it a try for all of the reasons above. You might find that this flexible and convenient service works better than you expected!
Download the Healthy Ashland app to access mental health resources tailored to the Ashland County community, including information to help you find the right counseling services, or browse through MHRB’s list of community partners and agencies to see which mental health service might be best for you.