Poor mental health is a rising concern, not only in America but also across the globe. Especially in our post-pandemic times, adjusting to the new normal has only worsened the mental health condition of millions of people worldwide.
In certain quarters, poor mental health has been described as a silent pandemic. However, all is not lost because telemedicine for mental health has made mental health care easily accessible. Today, you can seek treatment from a telehealth doctor for your mental condition from the comfort of your home.
Here’s how telemedicine has improved mental health treatment.
Mitigated Shortage of Mental Health Doctors
As of 2017, about 577,000 mental health professionals were practicing in the U.S., according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is an inadequate number, given that more than 40 million American adults experience a mental illness in any given year. More so, about 4% of Americans over 18 years deal with ADHD daily, proving that ADHD isn’t just a childhood disorder.
With a smaller doctor-to-patient ratio, most people who need mental health treatment are locked out. Good thing telemedicine providers have enabled therapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists to attend to more patients virtually. With telemedicine services, a telehealth doctor can see more patients virtually with fewer delays. Doctors and patients can schedule appointments at more appropriate times that allow them to avoid any inconveniences.
Virtual telemedicine has eased services such as telephone consultation with a doctor and online consultation for prescription. With these services, you can talk to a mental health professional without leaving your home and get the same quality of treatment as you would in face-to-face interaction.
Monitor Patients Remotely
Telemedicine providers have come up with apps and tools that allow physicians to track their patients’ progress virtually. The platforms work perfectly when patients and doctors collaborate. On one end, you can use your mobile or tablet to set daily reminders for your medication, receive updates on self-management tools, and track your symptoms. On the other end, your doctor can use the apps to monitor your progress. This allows a telehealth doctor to use less time per patient and still deliver quality treatment. When needed, your doctor can schedule a physical visit for a close examination.
Reduced Stigma Associated With Mental Health Treatment
Traditionally, mental health patients have been stigmatized by certain factions in society. This social stigma has also affected patients seeking alcoholism treatment and drug detox programs. To avoid condemnation from their peers and other members of society, people with mental illness often choose to skip treatment.
The effects of not seeking mental health treatment when you need it are dire and sometimes catastrophic. For instance, untreated anxiety may cause panic attacks. Additionally, your mental condition may cause you to be highly aggressive and violent, causing danger to yourself and the people around you. This may land you in prison if you end up hurting other people. In fact, studies have shown that a good number of inmates in U.S. prisons have a serious mental condition that went untreated. Worse still, a mental illness can trigger suicidal feelings because of severe depression.
With remote doctor consultation made possible by telemedicine, you can consult a telehealth doctor without physically visiting a mental health clinic. This shields you from the social stigma you would have to deal with if you had to see your doctor in the clinic. A telehealth doctor will keep your treatment confidential. This way, you can reveal your mental illness to the close people in your life who will help you with the treatment instead of mocking or ridiculing you. Ultimately, your treatment will be more effective because you’ll have a strong support system.
Thanks to telemedicine, seeking treatment for mental health disorders is convenient and more affordable. You can seek a telemedicine doctor in Boca Raton from any location on the globe and access treatment for your mental illness.