The stresses and uncertainties of COVID-19 can be anxiety inducing. People who had never experienced mental health issues prior to the pandemic are increasingly prone to depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. Feelings of isolation and loneliness from quarantine are also common. If you are dealing with substance use in this particular moment, navigating treatment may be especially daunting.
However, the growing prevalence of telehealth makes obtaining care in a remote fashion more accessible than ever before. While some people are skeptical about the efficacy of telehealth in terms of treatment and medication management, healthcare providers are now able to leverage online tools to provide excellent, uncompromised care.
In this blog, we discuss factors to consider when deciding whether telehealth, in-person treatment, or some combination of the two is the best fit for you. Remember, there is no right answer. At LaurelCare, we meet with clients from the outset to help them decide the best course of action for their unique needs.
Prior to the arrival of COVID-19, telehealth faced issues with HIPAA and concerns regarding privacy and security over the internet. However, since the beginning of the outbreak, we have witnessed major improvements in the telehealth system, especially thanks to the Office For Civil Rights authorizing providers to offer telehealth practices over secure networks including FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype.
Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid passed a waiver to cover mental telehealth services with federal insurance. This decreases the financial barrier for many and mitigates the stigma or anxiety that certain individuals experience when they approach in-person therapy. With our new telehealth infrastructure, you only need a basic understanding of technology to access the same care you would receive during an in-person visit.
There are many advantages to telehealth. A few benefits include lowering your risk of exposure to COVID-19, doing treatment with your pet companion or emotional support animal at home, and having a more time and cost-efficient option (this is especially important for those with a busy schedule). Ultimately, telehealth provides the same quality of care and types of resources as an in-person visit.
Rural populations are now able to use telehealth to receive integral access to behavioral health providers and resources. Telehealth connects these patients to providers and makes it easier for them to receive screenings, counseling, and other services without spending immense time and money on traveling to in-person visits.
While telehealth can be extremely effective for some people, others enjoy a certain level of comfort from face-to-face contact. For some people, accessibility to the internet and a private setting are limiting factors that may compel them to go with in-person treatment. If you do not have at-home devices or strong internet to support remote treatment sessions, in-person meetings may be a better option. Additionally, if you do not have an adequate level of privacy in your given home environment to support confidentiality and distraction-free sessions, face-to-face visits may be a better fit.
At LaurelCare, we always take an individualized approach to working with clients. We offer in-person sessions, telehealth sessions, and a combination of the two (the “hybrid” model), which can be extremely effective for sustaining long-term recovery.
We ensure that whichever approach or combination of approaches our clients choose, they will receive the same quality of treatment and resources across the board. For more information on this topic and LaurelCare’s resources, visit our website or contact Crystal Parish, our Vice President of Clinical Operations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.