Online mental healthcare has been around for decades, aligned with technological advancements and social communication advancements. However, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, an unprecedented healthcare crisis that has confined us to our homes, digital mental healthcare processes have become more mainstream than ever.
Naturally, this poses an obvious question in the mind of a patient struggling with a panic disorder or depression: Can I get good quality mental healthcare online?
You most certainly can, but the quality of the care you receive depends entirely on the approach adopted and implemented by your mental health practitioner or therapist. This article will offer valuable insight into the dynamics of online therapy sessions and mental care practices.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Today, patients have access to numerous apps, AI-powered software, and tools that allow them to maintain communication and connection with their therapists or care providers. Smartphone apps and wearable devices make it easier for therapists and psychologists to examine their patients’ real-time mental health metrics and undertake effective and timely interventions.
There are numerous tools and software that allow patients to receive quality care and scrutiny from their chosen mental health professionals. Numerous online mental health programs enable patients to reach out in times of need and despair and provide them 24/7 support to prevent risk factors, such as suicide, from aggravating.
These platforms also facilitate patients by nurturing online communities of patients struggling with the same issues. This particular aspect emulates the advantages of group therapy practiced in most AAA meetings and mental health facilities.
Evidence Supports Online Programs
With the rise of online mental health programs, researchers have turned their attention to examine their effectiveness with empirical evidence. A study conducted in 2014 attempted to investigate the efficacy of online behavioral therapy in treating anxiety disorders. The results reveal that online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was just as effective as in-person CBT sessions.
Another study conducted in 2018 attempted to investigate online cognitive behavioral therapy’s efficacy compared to in-person treatment sessions. The results revealed that online CBT effectively treats various mental disorders, including social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorders.
As explained above, these online CBT and therapy sessions are powered by technological innovations that make communication more comfortable and much more convenient. In fact, patients who find it challenging to open up and express themselves freely during in-person sessions are more comfortable and relaxed, with the screen acting as a barrier to shield their inhibitions. This increased comfort and convenience makes it easier for mental health patients to keep up with their appointments and take a proactive approach towards their treatment.
Most mental health patients, particularly those inflicted with anxiety disorders and paranoia-driven illnesses, are increasingly overwhelmed by the risks of cybersecurity attacks and confidentiality breaches. It is crucial to note that all mental health professionals who introduce online processes and platforms are subjected to address licensing regulations.
All online mental health programs are subjected to state laws, federal laws, HIPAA regulations, and cybersecurity regulations. They are obligated to address the security and confidentiality requirements of their patients. Such websites and community forums are designed to ensure the safety of the patient’s information and the health records maintained by the healthcare professional.
In fact, most websites provide freedom of anonymity to ensure comfort and convenience.
Online mental health programs and sessions offer far superior convenience than in-person sessions. Most patients find them more comfortable and practical. Today, various programs and communities can join to enjoy more significant support and excellent treatment.