The number of doctors, even clinical social workers, providing care is declining, and geographic locations affect the accessibility of these programs. This scenario results in people needing only online mental health care and choosing online counseling.
Mental Health Accessibility
In 2014, Kurt Mosley, vice president of strategic alliances at Merrit Hawkins and Staff Care, projected that more doctors would retire or leave in 2017. Pairing this with how rural areas in the country lack hospital and clinic numbers, comprehensive virtual coverage will not be achieved.
Where Do Online Counseling Sessions Come In?
Does online therapy work for everyone? How much does an online or virtual therapy cost compared to traditional therapy? Is virtual therapy cheaper? Does it cost you per session or per month? Are there any virtual therapy platforms? What are virtual therapy websites? What does it help, and how is that different from traditional in-person therapy?
Virtual Therapy Services Solutions
Online treatment or online therapy services solutions have been implemented by various organizations in the country to combat the current issues facing healthcare accessibility to address mental health conditions and other mental health emergencies. A virtual counseling platform is usually hosted by licensed therapists and mental health counselors. Virtual therapy or counseling can be used to treat many mental health conditions that are treated in face-to-face therapy via virtual therapy. This includes eating disorders, bipolar disorder, anger management, anxiety, depression, stress, and trauma.
Provides High-Quality Remote Care
These online therapy platform solutions provide virtual therapy users or citizens with a more suitable way of accessing high-quality care through remote means, particularly virtual help. “Online therapy session is also known as teletherapy, […] online therapy, e-therapy, telehealth or virtual counseling, email therapy, text therapy, phone counseling.” Sena Moran, LMHC said.
Three California organizations utilizing the said means are Kaiser Permanente (focused on Northern California) and the Blue Shield of California with the help of Adventist Health, a non-profit healthcare provider in the area.
Is Virtual Therapy As Effective As Traditional Therapy?
Virtual therapy is just as effective as face-to-face therapy, as you’ll receive mental health services the same as the traditional. Couples therapy is also being provided by marriage and family therapists. There are licensed marriage and family therapists who provide valuable service by offering to counsel remotely and connecting people to effective healthcare treatments that can improve their mental and emotional well-being. Working with a licensed marriage counselor remotely can provide individuals and couples with the tools and support they need to navigate challenging relationship issues. It does eliminate commute time, so you save money. Some licensed providers accept insurance but some are not covered by insurance.
Kaiser On Virtual Counseling
Studies have shown that site visits to the Kaiser Permanente website increased from 4.1 million to 10.5 million in 2013. Kaiser Permanente is aimed at providing quality healthcare services via remote communication between patients and doctors and is an online therapy provider. Remote communication in counseling or virtual counseling is achieved by providing the best virtual therapy platforms that are inclusive of all the patient’s needs or mental health treatment through the help of mental health professionals or licensed clinical social workers.
Patients Can Choose The Best Therapists
The patients may choose the best therapist or any from the pool of licensed therapists for their weekly virtual therapy, whom they wish to consult by browsing Kaiser Permanente’s doctor bios on their site, giving importance to the patient’s specific needs through virtual cognitive behavioral therapy. Doctors and staff are also multilingual. Therefore, patients who wish to communicate more efficiently about their mental health needs may choose a doctor who can speak their native tongue.
Patients May Call And Advise A Nurse 24/7
Patients requiring immediate help, such as unexpected occurrences in their healing process, may call and advise a nurse that is available 24/7. Kaiser Permanente stores detailed health information in affordable virtual therapy and is accessible to all its staff to provide immediate responses in a single message without extra cost. This process removes the patients’ need to schedule appointments and check the therapist’s availability.
But note that “online care is not for every patient or practitioner. Clients with more serious mental illnesses or substance abuse problems likely need more mental health services treatment than digital therapy can provide. And some clinicians may find certain telehealth modalities difficult.” A clinical psychologist and a licensed mental health professional Nina Barlevy, PsyD says.
The organization does not only focus on telecommunication. They also have a mobile app wherein patients can manage their health plans anywhere and at any time.
Blue Shield In Collaboration With Adventist Health When It Comes To Virtual Therapy
The Blue Shield Association is a federation of health insurance organizations and companies. An independent member of the said organization, the Blue Shield of California, provides remote access to doctors, specialists, and hospitals by implementing telehealth for mental health services initiative in collaboration with Adventist Health, a non-profit healthcare provider in the area. This initiative is similar to Kaiser Permanente’s operational procedures.
However, the organization’s procedure differs in how the patients consult with their desired doctors. While Kaiser Permanente allows remote appointment scheduling and remote healthcare management, Blue Shield focuses on interactive video technology (more information here: kid ps4 games).
Utilization Of This Technology Requires Patients To Go To Any Of The Nine Local Adventist Health Sites.
With those sites, they may consult with their doctors or licensed clinical social workers who are across the state. It is achieved with a centralized command center that specializes in mental health conditions or mental health diagnoses. This center sets up appointments, allowing patients to consult doctors, family therapists, and virtual therapy providers according to their availability. Easy as it may seem, but John M. Grohol, Psy.D. said, “This kind of effort takes a fair amount of commitment and understanding of the online world.”