While much of our public and community life has been shuttered at present, the option for telehealth mental health counseling and nutrition is available and needed more than ever. Fear about health and finances does not need to be faced alone when help and guidance are available to calm anxiety and help with problem-solving.
In the limited contact we have with others, we often see frayed nerves or stress showing and it’s a reminder that anyone we meet is definitely not having their best day. This too contributes to our own stress and confusion. Whereas before we may have been getting by, perhaps managing moderate to severe trauma, anxiety, depression, or grief….now everything may feel ramped up. Fortunately, at the same time, mental health professionals are ramping up their efforts to reach out via telehealth and help reduce anxiety so that each of us can restore our capacity to be the calm in the storm- at least some of the time.
Telehealth sessions are something that I personally, as a psychotherapist, had no interest in prior to the present situation. But like most other providers, I have moved to phone sessions and virtual platforms… and I am here to say, therapy still works! And, the platform is easy to use. In addition- another pro is that scheduling is much easier, and at the nCenter, we will work with you to make this experience seamless.
Doxy.me is one of several free, HIPAA Law compliant platforms that therapists use. But it can also be used for easy communication and facetime between family, friends, and community members. Other platforms that healthcare workers and mental health specialists are using include, Vsee, Thera-Link, and Zoom. Again these platforms are either free or accessed using a subscription plan in order to host private sessions.
The ethical thing for us to do right now to protect our communities from the viral outbreak is telehealth. Some of the restrictions around telehealth sessions have been freed up by the federal government so don’t let your limitations stop you from getting the care you need. We can help you navigate obstacles.
We can help with practicalities like setting up webcams for Doxy.me sessions and medical billing of your insurance policy for services. Sometimes it takes a little trouble shooting to get through these hurdles-but we are here to help with this, too. And then we can get into the important work of reducing anxiety. Once anxiety is down because we have found our sense of safety in our body and emotional state, then we can think more clearly and make good decisions.
For any of us with significant trauma histories, we may have PTSD symptoms get reactivated under the current circumstances. This may feel like elevated heart rate and heightened energy and or irritability that is difficult to come down from, or it may be at the level of flashbacks and intrusive memories. Adding this layer of global stress creates a healthy need for us to reach out and get help. Fortunately with telehealth sessions we can do that.
For any of us who are already bearing additional stress loads-maybe we are going through a divorce, or we have children with special needs-we are certainly going to feel that our load has been added to. And, again we need to reach out and receive help. It’s as simple as that.
For any of us who are healthcare workers and who feel the impending sense of something big coming, which we will have to face, we need a way to reduce the stress by learning to regulate our nervous systems and emotional states, which in turn allows us to think clearly and make good decisions for ourselves and the people we are taking care of.
Finally, for any of us who are in recovery for drug or alcohol addiction, we are really going to have to use the tools of reaching out to avoid relapse. Fortunately, in addition to telehealth sessions for therapy, there are also 12-step meeting that can be accessed online (Online Intergroup Alcoholic Anonymous and In The Rooms A Global Recovery Community). Sponsors can still be checked in with weekly via Zoom and Facebook.
And for all of us: we are dealing with anxiety about contagion, as well as the disruption to our daily routines. This can make us feel easily frustrated and even helpless. It’s very important to regain a sense of healthy control and agency on our lives and therapy can help with this. We have an experienced nutritionist at the nCenter who can talk with you about how to keep your immune system healthy and strong.
Telehealth mental health sessions are available and can be an important support to your weekly routine during this time.
Ann Matney, PCLC