The stresses of COVID-19 continue to weigh on our lives. Getting the proper mindcare should not be another thing to worry about. Thankfully, the prevalence of telehealth services makes access easier. Online mental health care has greatly expanded to include many necessary mental health services like receiving therapy, meeting with your psychiatrist and medication management and even addiction recovery treatment. Many providers and patients have made the switch to telehealth services. As an example, MindPath is currently treating 85% of patients online.
Despite the growing popularity of such services, there is still some skepticism around the effectiveness and quality of online therapy and online medication management in comparison to in-person visits. In this article we’ll speak with some MindPath providers to explore how telehealth is able to provide similar benefits, experiences and care for you that is equal to that of face-to-face visits with your mindcare provider.
With our current world centered around social distancing, many essential medical services have moved online to reduce face-to-face contact. While limiting contact is one of the main concerns our world faces, getting accessible and appropriate mental health care is important to ensure your well-being while at home. Charlotte therapist Joelle Shipp, LCMHC notes that some people “may not have a level of comfort to leave their home for an in-office appointment and telehealth allows clients to continue with treatment or begin treatment during this time.”
At a glance the switch to telehealth may seem daunting, but in fact both patients and providers alike are finding many positive benefits from the change. Dr. Diego Garza, Director of Telehealth at Mindpath Health, states “my prediction is that by the end of this [pandemic], everyone is going to be doing telemedicine. That is a game-changer.” This is because though visits have moved online, you are still able to access the same resources, such as talking with your psychiatrist or participating in therapy, that an in-person visit would provide.
Perceptions are sometimes held that telehealth requires refined knowledge of technology. On the contrary, accessing telehealth resources can be just as easy, if not easier, than going in person for a visit. Raleigh provider Kelly Crenshaw, NP-C, who offers online medication management, outlined how telehealth has made getting care easier for her patients saying that “there hasn’t been a single patient who switched from in-office to telehealth who wasn’t able to connect to the online platform,” emphasizing the ease of accessing these mental health resources. Furthermore, if complications do arise, remember that help is just a call or email away as providers are more than happy to help assist you in connecting to a mental telehealth platform because your care is what matters most. Going into an office for care may not be possible at the moment, but just remember that help is just a call or click away!
Both telehealth and in-person visits are great ways to get mental health care. Telehealth gives you access to the same resources as an in-office visit would; it’s easy to use and is just as cost efficient–the mindcare that telehealth provides is comparable to that of an in-person visit. The online mental health care that we offer at MindPath is HIPAA compliant, which means that your privacy is protected the same as it would be during care received in person. Your mental health is important now more than ever with these difficult times, and telehealth is here to bridge that gap.
It can be hard telling yourself to make the switch to a new system but just know you are not alone and many people have made the switch already. Crenshaw points out that, “There is a learning curve for both providers and patients, but it’s not scary and is a lot easier than many people think.” Shipp has helped both new and existing clients make the switch to online mental health treatment. She says that, “it has been easier for new clients to use telehealth” and that “existing clients have become more comfortable with using telehealth through time and successful appointments.”
Crenshaw notes that, “people think they will miss something without being face-to-face…it’s important to remember that patients also gain things by being able to access care from their homes. For example, it’s significant for a lot of pet owners that they can have their pet companions with them during online sessions. Also, for many people, their home spaces are more comfortable than office environments.”
Whether you are looking for mental health care or are already with a provider, this is a great time to explore online mental healthcare options as more and more people make the switch every day. While it may seem daunting to make the change, just know that providers are just a call or click away and are more than happy to help you in any way they can. When considering mental health options in this uncertain time remember that telehealth offers the ability to meet with a provider from the comfort of your home and that it provides the same quality of care and types of resources as an in-office visit.
Take good care of yourself and your loved ones during this time and always!
Your care is our top priority. With Mindpath Health Telehealth Online Care, you can access our medical and therapy providers, as well as Addiction Recovery Center services from your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet all from your home. We offer 2 convenient options for appointment—Request an appointment based on your schedule or connect with an on-call specialist in our Virtual Waiting Room within the hour for urgent needs (available Monday – Friday from 8:30am to 5pm). More info at mindpathcare.com/telehealth.