COVID-19 has been a challenging time for everyone, creating mental health issues for some while amplifying pre-existing ones for others. Whether it’s anxiety about catching the virus, depression from the isolation of being in quarantine, substance abuse as an unhealthy coping mechanism, or grief from losing a loved one to the pandemic, this past year has spawned a mental health crisis of epic proportions.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average number of adults reporting symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorders rose from 11% back in January-June of 2019 to 41.1% in January-June 2020. Even in March 2021, KFF reports that about half of adults (47%) continued to struggle with their mental health from stress caused by the pandemic, despite vaccines becoming available on a more widespread basis now.
Worse yet, while suicides surprisingly declined in 2020 by 5.6% from 2019 to 2020 in the United States, suicidal ideation has increased twofold since 2018, with 10% of people reporting they have considered suicide in the past 30 days, according to Psychology Today. Statistics like these show it’s clear that people are struggling right now, and this should not be taken lightly.
One way to battle this crisis is through the power of technology. By offering telemedicine and other digital solutions to those battling mental health issues during the pandemic, psychologists and psychiatrists are able to see them faster while promoting social distancing. This gives patients a greater sense of immediacy when they need to talk to somebody, also alleviating any anxiety that would be triggered by in-person visits during COVID-19.
As an encouraging success story, Healthcare IT News describes how MemorialCare Health System in Fountain Valley, California has succeeded with their mental health and substance use disorder patients after seeing an influx of them during the pandemic. After implementing more digital healthcare in February 2021, 75% of depression patients using their online mental health program went into remission within 90 days.
The Best Solutions for Remote Mental Healthcare
If your practice is looking for ways to improve patients’ mental health during COVID-19, here are a few ways to achieve this:
- Use an intuitive telemedicine platform with minimal clicks so patients will be able to easily connect, even if they’re distressed and not thinking clearly.
- Make online appointment scheduling on the front page of your website available to minimize phone calls for those who are struggling.
- If an in-person visit is necessary, use a text-based system that allows patients to wait in their cars before the appointment, easing any anxiety about being in a crowded waiting room during the pandemic.
DocResponse provides all of these solutions for your practice. Our single-click telemedicine software is convenient for patients who need to speak to somebody quickly, while our online appointment scheduling is a stress-free option for anyone who is feeling phone-shy. Promote social distancing with our text-based solution that keeps patients outside until you’re ready, and you’re on your way to a workflow that makes mental health patients less stressed while making yourself more accessible to them.
Schedule a demo with us today to learn more about our solutions, and who knows? You might very well save a life.