Mental Help Provided Online – Challenges and Solutions

On one hand, the world we live in is becoming more civilized over time. On the other, it’s also getting increasingly more tangled and complex. With basic physical needs secured for many, the pressure shifts towards mental aspects of life. This is especially true for the younger generations, who were born into this new reality, and who have no stable background to rely on when things get tough. The provision of mental help is challenging in and of itself, however, new solutions are emerging as well.

I’ve been wondering whether mental health is declining or improving over time, considering how our daily reality changes. Specialist scientific research can be confusing and its results are often inconclusive. From what I’ve gathered, the general trend is that no significant rise in mental issues is being observed in the recent decades among adults, however, children and teens do seem to be more affected.

One shocking fact I came across was that according to CDC, suicide is the second leading cause of death in the 10-34 age group.

Mental illness is very serious, as anyone who underwent any stretch of it can attest, and it has overarching physical, social, and financial ramifications for individuals and society at large.

It’s important to note that mental disorders thrive in isolation and under pressure. A situation like the COVID-19 pandemic creates a spike in need for support across all ages and social groups. 

Current state of mental help online 

People seek mental support for a variety of things – alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, depression, self-harm, anxiety, bipolar disorder. Help is required not only by those directly affected, but also by those who care for sufferers, as they too come under a significant mental strain.

Turning for help online has a number of benefits including:

  • accessibility
  • preventive care 
  • diagnostics 
  • analysis 
  • treatment 
  • telerehab 
  • telediagnostics 
  • e-documentation

all of which are convenient, save time (shorten the treatment time), increase patient engagement, lower costs, and generate higher number of examinations.

Issues with online mental support

Despite its indisputable benefits, digital mental help isn’t without flaws. There’s virtual coaching, virtual therapy sessions, micro therapeutics, support groups, and remote care services.

The niche has gotten pretty diverse, however, there’s still the ongoing problem of high demand and not enough counsellors, especially for direct therapy sessions.

In times of crisis like the pandemic we’re currently struggling with, people are exposed to a number of issues that aren’t easy to solve such as: 

  • cratering economy and ballooning unemployment numbers 
  • substance abuse
  • strained interpersonal relationships 
  • parenting becoming even more demanding

Telehealth options are growing in popularity during this COVID-19 pandemic. There’s a surge in demand, while in-person mental health care becomes unavailable, which may exacerbate the levels of stress.

How safe is it to assume that the demand will drop anytime soon?

The solution

Not only is it important to address the current situation, but also prepare early for the COVID-19 fallout.

The number of people who require mental help will surely be disproportionately higher that the number of available counselors. Access to sit-in sessions may be problematic for many in the first place.

One efficient way to boost the rate of diagnostics and treatment which is already on the rise is the use of live chat.

Unique advantages of live chat in online therapy

Currently, various digital mental help programs are largely based on static content which is great for preliminary self-help but regardless of it there’s a strong need to talk to another human being.

Live chat can play a pivotal role in the process, as it’s well-suited for the specific nature of mental help seekers. A chat app creates a confidential, inclusive and welcoming space, making it easier for the sufferer to open up. Importantly, it can also be the first step in one’s quest to seek help, as early intervention is crucial for efficient treatment. 

Chat rooms can be used for group therapy sessions. Knowing there are others like you and receiving peer support can be instrumental in the recovery process. 

Chat is more private than video calls, which is especially important during time of isolation, when other people may be around. It’s also keeping both parties safe – there’s no need to use public transport to reach a crowded hospital or other facility.

In general, live chat is a great channel for emergency situations, where face to face help is simply not feasible. Also, as previously stated, in a situation where there’s not enough clinicians to help everybody in one-to-one sessions, chat allows for addressing multiple individuals simultaneously.

Chatwee – remote provision of help

If you’re looking to scale up your mental help services, please consider Chatwee. It’s an instant messaging platform to connect those in need with care providers, advisers, and therapists.

It features chat rooms, private conversations, and chat rooms to create the best possible experience for all parties involved.

Chatwee offers a slew of other functionalities as well and can be easily installed on any website. It’s already being used by organizations such as The Mix and Beat Eating Disorders who run recurrent online therapy sessions.

If you’d like to give it a try with no strings attached, sign up today and become even more accessible to your patients.

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