Teletherapy and Mental HealthIs It Right For you?
Given the difficult times we are living through, it is essential that we continue to take care of both our physical and mental wellbeing. COVID-19 has challenged us personally, professionally, and as a society. We have had to figure out new ways of doing our jobs, schooling our children, and staying in contact with family and friends. The effects of these challenges may put us at a greater risk of dealing with psychological issues.[BZ1]
The pandemic also made us rethink how we deliver mental health services. My colleague Dr. Kathleen Pike, a professor of psychology and director at Columbia University, recently wrote in her Five on Friday blog about the efficacy of teletherapy. Dr. Pike states that “the good news is that for adolescents and adults with mild to moderate mental health conditions, outcomes for teletherapy are largely comparable to meeting in person. This means that if you are feeling like you need mental health services, you do not need to wait until this pandemic passes. It is likely that meeting with a therapist by phone or online video will provide significant therapeutic benefit now.”
Dr. Pike goes to explain that there are great benefits to teletherapy as it expands our reach. She notes that “Leveraging technology to bring the therapist to the person in need, instead of the other way around, saves time, reduces burden, and enables connections across distances that would heretofore have been insurmountable.” Many have noted that they now find it much easier and enjoyable to get to therapy- they just need to click a link!
This is really good news, as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reported that approximately 20% of adults in the Unites States experienced a mental health issue as of 2019. Fortunately, the pandemic doesn’t mean we need to wait to seek mental health treatment. We can do it now from the comfort of our home, knowing we’re staying safe and getting the mental health treatment we need.
The lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may be on our emotional wellbeing, but it doesn’t need to be. Do not wait until the pandemic is over to seek therapy if you are feeling down, stressed out or having relationship issues. There is no health without mental health. One of the bravest things a person can do is ask for help. If you are suffering, reach out to a mental health provider and know that teletherapy can be an excellent option to address your psychological health.
[BZ1]Is that true??