Globally, there is a rising awareness about mental health, yet millions of individuals are forced to fend for themselves due to a lack of mental health specialists and treatment options.
A Global Issue
At some time in their lives, one in four persons worldwide may have a mental or neurological disease. One in every five people in the United States, or more than nine million people, report having unmet mental health care needs. Neglecting mental illnesses for an extended period of time can be detrimental to the individual and society at large. So, implementing technology like telehealth services for proper mental health care is necessary.
Along with other societal issues like the opioid epidemic, the demand for accessible mental health care and drug addiction treatment is expanding quickly. This is especially true in rural areas where these issues are prominent and access to care can be difficult. Anxiety disorders are the most often encountered mental health conditions. One trillion dollars in lost economic productivity is thought to be the cost of anxiety and depression to the world economy, according to a recent study.
Refusal of Mental Health Treatment: Barriers
Unfortunately, there are a number of barriers that keep those suffering from mental diseases from receiving care.
Lack of Access to Care
In the US, there are 111 million people who live in areas with a shortage of mental health specialists. In around half of US counties, there is just one psychiatrist. More than 40% of nations lack a mental health policy, 30% lack any type of mental health program, and 25% lack mental health law. Millions of people no longer have access to mental health treatment as a result.
Fear and Disparity
Apart from a dearth of mental health professionals and therapy, there are additional obstacles preventing people from obtaining the proper care. Two more common causes of people not seeking treatment are fear and stigma. Stigma is defined as “the fear of embarrassment associated with recognizing mental illness and seeking professional assistance.” Even while there is still stigma associated with mental health, particularly in nations with a lack of mental health education, it is becoming more widely accepted and understood.
Telepractice’s Benefits for Mental Health
The way we see mental health and how individuals receive care might be dramatically changed by telehealth. The primary benefits of telehealth for mental health are covered in the following section.
Reduce the Lack of Mental Health Personnel
As mental illnesses become more common, we are beginning to understand the importance of mental health on a global basis. We still lack enough mental health specialists to care for the millions of individuals who require treatment. For telehealth to be a wonderful option for bridging the gap, the patient only needs a dependable internet connection and a laptop, computer, tablet, or smart phone with a camera. Because telehealth is so user-friendly, mental health professionals may connect with their patients from anywhere.
Increasing Access for Many
Anyone with an internet connection can use telehealth services, as was already said. This is a great option for people who are housebound, have mobility issues, don’t have access to transportation, have disabilities, or live in distant areas.
Communication and monitoring Easiness
The fullest possible technology monitoring and communication is possible with a telehealth paradigm. As a result, it is convenient and easy for mental health professionals to follow up with and keep in touch with their patients.