Seeking Counseling: The Benefits of Telehealth

I've spoken out about the importance of taking care of your mental health a lot, and it's true that it's one of the most important parts of taking care of ourselves as a whole. But what if your schedule doesn't allow a trip to a counselor? That's okay! There's a solution. 

There are a few reasons you may be putting off seeking out counseling. For me, it's the lack of time and a bit of social anxiety. There for a while, I was dealing with some personal things that had me terrified to leave my house most days. As a matter of fact, some days just going out for the mail gave me huge anxiety. I'm getting much better but sometimes I still don't like leaving the house unless it's for something really important, especially when my depression and anxiety are at their highest. And you know, those are the days that I probably need the help the most. Amazing things have happened in the last few years to help those like myself get what they need from the comfort of their own home, or even on break at their place of employment. 

If you don't know what telehealth and telemedicine is, it's a way to bring healthcare services to patients in distant locations. It allows professionals to expand their reach much farther than their own offices and in a lot of cases, their own towns. For example, I can be paired up with a professional in a larger city that may be 2 hours from where I live and not have to worry about commuting or scheduling a time that I can be at the office. Instead, I can receive personalized counseling through various ways online, such as Skyping, text messaging, or emails. I can see where this is extremely helpful if you are like me and live in a small town where there may be limited availability of those who specialize in the help you need. These types of services are especially useful to those who physically cannot travel and aren't limited to just mental health counseling. For me, I don't drive. So being able to do things from home just works better for me. One major plus side to telehealth services is the availability. Where most offices are only open and operating during certain hours, most (or sometimes all) telehealth services are available 24/7. I know that can be a huge sign of relief to those who really need someone to talk to last minute or late hours. You do not have to wait for an office to open up or wait through busy signals when calling your local office. Typically you get set up with one counselor who specializes in your particular needs, but in most cases, you can transfer to a new one if needed. 

Technology has advanced and changed modern life in ways that we probably never fathomed 20 years ago. These services make it much easier to manage our health, and really, it's the best form of self care out there. 


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