Mental health help possible from home
38% of adults have experienced depression or anxiety as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - With so many people physically sick from COVID-19, you may not have as much time to focus on the toll the pandemic is taking on our mental health.
But many people are experiencing a range of stressful problems, from feelings of isolation to concerns about personal finances and politics, and of course, worry about our kids and their future. In fact, a recent Consumer Reports survey found that 38% of adults have experienced depression or anxiety as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. As Consumer Reports explains, there are ways to get affordable mental health help, even if you’re staying home.
Like many of us, Eli Nowak, a therapist in northern New Jersey, has had to adapt because of the pandemic.
“Since mid-March, I have shifted my practice to strictly via video or telephone,” he said.
He has also seen an uptick in patients seeking help because of stresses caused by current events.
It has been extremely challenging for most if not all of the people I have worked with.
“Numerous studies have shown that teletherapy can be as effective as in-person care. And they can offer patients more scheduling flexibility, convenience, privacy, and a bigger pool of potential therapists,” Nowak said.
If you’re interested in finding a therapist who will see you virtually, a good place to begin is by asking for a referral from your primary care provider, family or friends.
A number of websites can be a good resource as well, like the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association.
If you have health insurance, you can also look on your insurer’s website for a list of therapists covered under your plan.
There are also free options out there.
“You can call 211 or visit 211.org for a referral to a provider who offers support at no cost or on a sliding scale based on your budget. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and talk anonymously to a trained mental health professional for free,” Nowak said.
And to get the most out of a virtual session, it’s important that you feel comfortable with the therapist.
“When talking to a prospective therapist, ask about the person’s years in practice, specialties, therapy techniques, and fee,” Nowak said.
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