By Robert Lien (MHA)
On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus a global pandemic. While a percentage of the world’s population will actually be affected by this virus medically, it can be said that everyone has been impacted emotionally and psychologically. As many businesses are closed to increase social distancing and reduce the transmission of the virus people are feeling intense fear and anxiety. Additionally, as people are staying home they are isolated from their usual social interactions creating an increase in depression.
However, there is hope and solutions are available to get through this challenging time. For many years Psychiatric and Medical Professionals have been utilizing remote telemedicine services. These online services include video and audio that connects the patient with a medical or mental health professional from anywhere around the world. By using an online connection Psychiatrist’s can see and hear clients to make medication adjustments or provide psychiatric evaluations. Medical Doctors can see patients from the comfort of their home thus reducing the potential to transmit any potential contagious conditions and make recommendations for the patient to get the correct level of care quicker while helping to reduce crowding at Emergency Departments and Urgent Care facilities.
Online therapy has allowed therapists to connect with their clients on a regular basis regardless of where they are located to maintain support. Recently there has been an increase in treatment programs utilizing online services for group therapy to connect people in a sense of community that they are accustomed to. As people are facing a daunting challenge posed by COVID-19 people can utilize their insurance benefits along with online services to get help from professionals who can give them evidence-based tools and guidance on how to deal with the stress, anxiety or depression they may be experiencing.