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What in the world is Telemental Health? And The 4 Benefits to Help You

Updated: May 17, 2022



So, you’re telling me that staring at a little box, and talking to someone about my feelings is going to help me? Yes, yes… I am. I know it seems very strange, but the world is strange right now. In the past two years, we have lived through a surge of civil and political unrest, job loss, kids staying home for school, toilet paper, and food shortages, and let us not forget a pandemic which was the source of a lot of the aforementioned situations. It all sucked. Family members and friends have been absent or lost and it has all taken a toll on the whole world. I’ve said all of this to say, the need for mental health care has increased significantly.


As mental health professionals try to reach more and more people during this strange time, telemental health has been an unsung hero. It has proven to be effective and an advantageous way to provide much-needed care that otherwise may not be available.


Alright, I know what you might be thinking. “Prove it! How can I get good, quality care in the same way I am scrolling through social media, sending memes, and TikToks, and avoiding calls from well… everyone.” I am going to tell you. The proof is in the pudding as someone once said.


4 Benefits of Telemental Health


Comfort: Stay in your Fluffy Bunny Slippers

Flexibility & Convenience: You Can Save Time

Improved Access: At Your Fingertips

Cost Reduction: You Can Save Money



 

Comfort: Stay in Your Fluffy Bunny Slippers


We have become creatures of comfort. You want food from your favorite restaurant, there is an app. You put your information into the app, and Voilà! Literal front door service. You hate going to the grocery store? Guess what. There’s an app. You pick out what you want and need then you can either go pick it up or it can be delivered. We have become more comfortable with technology and engaging online to get what we need. Want to learn to paint or new yoga poses or build a house? It’s as simple as typing in what you want or need in a search browser. You moved to a new city and want to make friends or perhaps find love? You guessed it; we turn to the internet!


People are increasingly getting social, physiological, and basic needs met through online services. Why not, get your psychological and emotional needs met that way too? Studies have shown that almost 80% of Americans use the internet to research mental health information. We can now take it a step further with telemental health as it already fits in the habits people are already engaging.


There is also something to be said for anonymity. Unfortunately, mental health has a social stigma different from physical health care. People have various reasons for concern when seeking out help. Some may struggle to leave their homes and walk into an office due to insecurities surrounding safety, stigma, or even scarcity of resources like transportation. Engaging in therapy through telemental health platforms from the comfort of your own space removes such barriers.


Flexibility & Convenience: You Can Save Time


We all know this one. Let me set the stage for a typical day or week. You wake up and drag yourself out of bed to stand in the shower as you stare into the abyss. You then try to grab a cup of the sacred bean juice and run out the door. Never mind, no time. I’ll pick something up on the way to work. Next comes traffic, kids forgetting lunches or homework, working meetings, school events, Grandma Lilly’s birthday dinner, and then BBQ or Sports extravaganza with the neighbors and friends this weekend, weather depending. You are busy!!! It can be difficult to fit therapy appointments into that hectic schedule between work and family obligations. Not to mention the travel time between work, school, grocery store, and gift shopping for your sweet grandmother, let alone all the other appointments.


We need flexibility to schedule appointments that fit our specific needs. Telehealth allows for a realistic, flexible schedule for both you the client, and the clinician which increases accessibility. You can find clinicians who offer times that meet your needs within a chaotic schedule.


We’ve all also had those moments when we are running late for an appointment, and we hit every light on the way. Every. Single. Light. Or even worse, a little one is sick at home running a temperature which leads to the sad statement, “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to cancel my appointment.” With telemental health, it is no longer a major concern. Travel time looks more like walking over to a laptop, tablet, or pulling out your cell phone from your pocket. You can arrange a time to see your clinician no matter what is going on in your life. With the internet’s far reach, being able to access help when and where it is needed has become more accessible. The ultimate bonus is doing it in your favorite bunny slippers and comfy sweatpants.


Improved Access: At Your Fingertips


The world is at our fingertips. What would take hours or days now takes minutes. What would now be the reason for day trips or weekend trips now could be handled online. The most-often mentioned reason for not seeking mental health care is accessibility. The lack of services due to geographical location, appropriate resources, and clinicians in an area have been the bane of existence. Utilizing telemental health services helps for more options for accessibility. Distance, location, and access are becoming less of an issue as we can turn to online solutions.


Cost Reduction: You Can Save Money


Plain and simple, telemental health can reduce costs. Missing work to attend a therapy session costs you. It costs time, money, and energy. Gone is rushing to a lunch hour therapy appointment and then making up the time after hours because you hit every light on your way and notice the gas gauge is edging close to the dreaded red “E”. Time, Money, and Energy are valuable resources. Telemental health can work for your lifestyle and still provide safety. Plus, clinicians can reach more individuals with more ease, which benefits everyone. The clinicians can also be in their fluffy bunny slippers as well. It’s a win-win situation.



Caveat

Telemental health has gotten us through some of the most challenging times of this chaotic age. More people have been able to seek and get treatment now more than ever. This is important as we continue to navigate through what life looks like now. You can still receive good, quality care and not be in the same room as your clinician. That being said, I feel I must do my due diligence and say there are certain conditions that telemental health would not be a good fit. Please talk to your licensed and trained clinicians to see what would work best for you and your situation.


If you want better headphones for your sessions, consider these for your next purchase*














Resources

1. Langarizadeh, M., Tabatabaei, M. S., Tavakol, K., Naghipour, M., Rostami, A., & Moghbeli, F. (2017). Telemental health care, an effective alternative to conventional mental care: a systematic review. Acta informatica medica: AIM: journal of the Society for Medical Informatics of Bosnia & Herzegovina: casopis Drustva za medicinsku informatiku BiH, 25(4), 240-246.
2. Saeed, S. A., Diamond, J., & Bloch, R. M. (2011). Use of telepsychiatry to improve care for people with mental illness in rural North Carolina. North Caroline Medical Journal, 72(3), 219-222.
3. Elkin N. How America searches: Health and wellness. Opinion Research Corporation: iCrossing; 2008. pp. 1–17.

*Haven Point, LLC (the Musings of Psykhe & Hekate blog) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Program as well as other affiliate programs, which is designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission from clicks that result in a purchase. The commission is paid by the retailers, at no cost to you. This commission supports the costs of products and services. Thank you for your support! For more information refer to the Disclaimer section.

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