Mental health is an important factor in our lives, maybe now more than ever. Mental health affects how we think, feel, and act. Our state of mind can even affect our physical state and, consequently, our well-being. Before, people didn’t recognize their mental health as a priority. Aside from that, many weren’t able to access mental health support due to lack of time and distance. Getting help through a therapist or an organization was and is seen as time-consuming, since it requires getting somewhere. Nevertheless, during the last few years, there has been an increase in mental health awareness. This rise in awareness reduces the social stigma of talking about our mental health.
Because of Covid-19 and social distancing, there have been increased levels of anxiety, depression, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). People are lacking social interactions and have preoccupations about the health and economic effects of this pandemic. Psychiatric studies from previous pandemics and national emergencies demonstrate that the mental stresses caused by Covid-19 could have a long term impact.
Fortunately, plenty of people have been reaching out for mental health care more during social distancing. It is easier to simply join a Zoom call rather than to drive all the way to a center and wait to be attended. Besides a personalized phone call or video call, there are the options of national hotlines (depending on the country) and even phone applications that teach people in need how to cope with their issues.
A new study proposes the possibility of more individuals wanting to continue getting virtual mental health care appointments, even after the pandemic. As it seems, the therapist-patient relationship is not fully affected by this different method of bonding. However, a person’s socioeconomic status, residence (rural vs. urban), and technology access seem to be a barrier that could play a role in the accessibility of this service.