The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a global onslaught of mental health issues. See our previous blog on Workplace Mental Health: How Technology Can Help. The reasons ranged from isolation and changes in daily structure to financial stress and job-related and unemployment-related factors. However, there was one positive outcome of the pandemic that should be investigated further. The use of Telemedicine options, specifically video conferencing, to address mental health concerns and maintain counseling services for those who wish to access them. Apps such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams have become popular modes of communication in schools and businesses, but they have also proven helpful in mental health services.
Although both patients were confined to their homes, mental healthcare professionals were able to meet with them virtually. Even though the world has reopened, this method of meeting those suffering from mental health issues should not be discontinued for a variety of reasons. Here are some advantages of using remote services instead of in-person sessions for mental health patients.
It saves time because neither party has to commute to and from appointments. It is also mobile, which may encourage more people to seek the assistance they require. Meetings can take place anywhere, at any time, and are more easily accessible. There would be less room for excuses because meetings could occur in a vehicle on the way to another location.
Patients can attend meetings in an environment where they feel comfortable sharing and opening up honestly about their difficulties. The home provides a familiar and relaxed environment as opposed to a new and strange environment; this is especially important for first-time patients.
The ability to record the session (once authorized by both parties) so that any activities to complete or review can be accessed is an additional feature that may benefit both the doctor and the patient.
Because virtual sessions are so intimate, patients may believe that the therapist or mental health professional is paying more attention to them or is more focused on the session.
Virtual Mental Health sessions should therefore be expanded to meet the needs of both patients and professionals by introducing websites or apps dedicated to video consultations for mental health patients.
Waiting rooms for sessions can sometimes be more intimidating than the visit itself. Furthermore, with remote sessions, patients can multitask while waiting for their consultation.
Remote sessions can also help to increase patient participation in the session. Patients can refer to various materials or resources during their sessions by using screen sharing.
Physical consultations should not be eliminated, either, because further assessments may require the physical presence of patients, and some people simply prefer face-to-face meetings. The beauty of choice, on the other hand, is crucial. Patients can select the best situation for them.