COLORADO SPRINGS — While the battle rages on in hospitals across the country trying to heal those who are sick with coronavirus, another public health crisis is emerging: the impact of this pandemic on the mental health of our family members and neighbors.
The good news is mental health experts are coming to the rescue finding ways to reach more people than ever before. Virtual counseling is getting people help right where they're at.
Have you ever considered mental health counseling? Many of us might not have the courage to make an appointment, let alone drive to an office to meet with someone face-to-face. This pandemic has forced our mental health experts to make a change. Virtually counseling people to manage stress.
More people are now turning to virtual counseling as a means of managing the pressure, depression and anxiety that can come along with the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine. In Colorado Springs, AspenPointe mental health experts are ready to help.
"The telehealth services telemedicine skills, groups, we want to adapt as much as we possibly can to where we're at and what the community needs because we know that it's not just the seniors it is parents, business owners, you name it. Everybody and anybody I imagine you're experiencing some sort of stress. So if they feel like they need extra help, we would most definitely welcome them to reach out," said Lauren Lund, a mental health professional at AspenPointe.
Being able to meet with clients through a virtual chat tends to not only make people more comfortable, but mental health experts say many times it allows for a more honest conversation.
"Being able to see someone in their own home has really allowed us to see their interaction with family members," said Lund. "So if you have a parent in the background, or a sibling who is trying to bust in you can see firsthand how they respond to that. Are they yelling? Are they throwing things? You get to see another side of them that's really true and genuine and authentic and how they are 99% of the time compared to that small percentage that were able to see them in the office."
Mental health professionals are optimistic this could help to produce useful results for their clients too.
"Having that information is something that we wouldn't be able to get from being face-to-face," said Lund. "So while we're in this modality I think we're trying to do the best that we can to utilize that information to help them even more than we could face-to-face.
Talkspace is one of several online therapy platforms. It offers messaging options for counseling with a licensed therapist as well as regular, confidential video chats. Therapists tell us they are seeing more people coming in to talk about dealing with financial strain and family pressures during COVID-19.
"it isn't just about delving into old childhood challenges that really can be brief, it can be effective, and it can be something they can access right now and that it will provide them some relief," said Talkspace Director of Clinical Content Dr. Amy Cirbus.
Talkspace has seen a jump in new patients by 10 times their regular numbers since early March.
To access Talkspace resources visit: https://www.talkspace.com/
Companies like Talkspace offer both private pay and accept many insurance plans.
Many local therapists are also still accepting new clients. You don't even have to call. In many cases you can make appointments online.
Colorado Springs mental health help:
Pueblo mental health help: