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Pros and cons of mental health treatments online

Health on the Internet

It is important to become an informed consumer of online mental health services, and take into account certain factors while opting for this type of treatment and exploring additional resources.

With the tap on a phone or a click of a mouse, one can instantly access a therapist, or so as some tools claim, there are points to consider about telepsychology, before you sign up, log in or start chatting with a healthcare professional.

While researchers are going full speed in evaluating online therapy and how it works as compared to face to face interactions with a specialist for psychotherapy sessions, much of the data collected is relatively new, and a lot of science does not know yet.

Top mental health therapy on-demand services

Mental health is as important as physical health, but even though mental health issues are common in U.S. adults, it is uncommon for people to prioritize mental health, mainly because of stigma, time constraints, financial inability or simply lack of access to basic health care.

Leading virtual therapy apps have succeeded in overcoming these barriers and bringing mental health care via smart devices, virtually to the doorstep of the consumer. Some recommendations for the best available services are:

BetterHelp

Thanks to its ease of use and excellent communication methods, BetterHelp tops the list of the most in-demand online therapy platforms with its affordable pricing and a staff of over 14,000 dedicated healthcare professionals worldwide.

Sesame

The dynamic working of Sesame provides tools to the patient to schedule an online appointment with a doctor, get a prescription or lab, irrespective of location, income, and more importantly, insurance status.

Amwell

This full-service telehealth platform is one of the few that accepts insurance from most major providers like Cigna, Aetna, and United Healthcare, thereby making therapy accessible as well as affordable to its patients.

Talkspace

Talkspace is another leading online mental health treatment service, which is ideal when it comes to convenient health care. The app primarily works by providing unlimited audio, video, and text messaging between the therapists and the clients.

Benefits of Virtual Therapy

More and more healthcare providers are willing to see patients online through computer or smartphone than ever before. This is primarily because a video or phone appointment between a health care practitioner and a patient benefits both convenience and health. Online mental health treatment offers a host of advantages including:

Comfort and Convenience

Advanced technology has ensured that online therapy is made easier, especially for those who do not consider themselves computer savvy. American consumers can access telemedicine platforms through a mobile app or the Mychart online platform to schedule an appointment with doctors at John Hopkins University.

Again, with virtual therapy, you don’t have to travel to a doctor’s clinic and sit in a waiting room, especially when you are feeling unwell. With telemedicine, you can schedule an online appointment without taking leave or arranging for child care.

Better assessment

When a health care specialist sees a patient in a home environment, they can identify clues from the surroundings that cause the illness. For example, occupational therapists and neurologists get the advantage to observe your capability to navigate in your home to take care of yourself. This turns out to be a better way of mental health assessment and counseling

Primary care management

Regular appointments with your primary care specialist are essential to keep track of mental health. Telemedicine ensures that a nurse or a doctor is always on hand whenever needed. Some online therapy platforms are so designed that an appointment can be scheduled with the next available practitioner in no time at all.

Go paperless

A securely managed online mental health platform that digitally manages all the records, treatments and prescribed care of the patient’s results in a paperless experience that delights the users

Downsides to Online Therapy

Virtual therapy may be affordable and convenient, but it does have some negatives:

  • A remote visit will not address all the issues. You will, if necessary, still have to go to a traditional clinic for blood tests and assessments. Moreover, some diagnoses may require a more hands-on approach.
  • The security of the personal health data of a patient can be compromised and will always remain a cause of concern.

While all states are providing insurance coverage, post-Covid, towards expenses for telehealth, grey areas remain as not all services are covered, leading to out-of-pocket expenses.