Mental health pertains to our overall psychological and emotional state. The concept of mental health includes our thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and relationships with others. When we have ‘good’ mental health, we feel good about ourselves, handle life’s challenges and stressors, and form positive and meaningful relationships with others. Our mental health can be impacted by various factors, including genetics, life events, and environmental factors. When our mental health is compromised, it can negatively impact our ability to function in our daily lives and cause feelings of sadness, anxiety, and stress.
Why Is Mental Health Important?
Unfortunately, the issues around mental health have become more apparent over the last decade. According to the CDC, around one in five adults in the United States experience a mental health condition yearly. This statistic alone emphasizes the importance of prioritizing mental health services. Focusing on mental health is more important than ever before – it impacts every area of someone’s life. How? The aspect of good mental health manifests in everything one does, thinks, or says.
Good emotional and mental wellbeing is vital because it affects every aspect of your life. Maintaining good emotional health can improve your performance in work, school, or caregiving tasks. It also plays a vital role in the health of your relationships and enables you to handle life’s changes and challenges. Additionally, there is also a correlation between a person’s declining mental health and health challenges. For example, mental disorders can raise your risk for physical health problems such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Our bodies and minds are not separate, so it’s not surprising that mental ill health can affect your body. Depression can come with headaches, fatigue, and digestive problems, and anxiety can create an upset stomach. To promote a healthy life, we need to encourage mental awareness to give us stability.
The Demand in Mental Health Services
As more people are becoming open to treatment for mental health conditions, the demands on psychological practitioners have increased. This is great news as people are starting to see how valuable they are in this society and the importance of a sound mind. According to research, more than 8 in 10 (84%) psychologists who treat anxiety disorders said they have seen an increase in demand for anxiety treatment since the start of 2020. Increased demand, however, does not equate to increased treatment rates as health professionals are not always able to manage a higher volume of patients. Due to the appeal, those who need access to these services are experiencing more challenges due to inaccessibility. This means that a lot of people who need this service would not be able to receive it due to quarterly waitlists. Some people cannot even afford to wait. Not only do counselors and psychologists need to expand their capacity – but they must also spread the way they cater their services.
The Solution: Telehealth
Telehealth is the use of digital technology, by healthcare providers, to connect with healthcare services and manage the client’s healthcare remotely. Previous social distancing rules provided a catalyst for counselors and psychologists to utilize telehealth solutions, and virtually all clinical psychologists continue to provide at least some services remotely (96%) of today. Specifically, remote patient monitoring has become a popular telehealth option. Remote patient management refers to the specific technology used to transmit information between patients and physicians electronically and has a unique advantage with the increase in demand for therapy today. These platforms, like aTouchAway, offer a tool to close some of the gaps that counselors and psychologists face today. In fact, one of the primary benefits of remote patient management is the ability to boost patient engagement and make care more accessible for the demand behavioural therapy has been facing.
Benefits of Remote Patient Management
Create Customized Tasks for Patients
While delivering care through remote patient management, psychologists and counselors primarily use digital technology to monitor and manage the patient’s health conditions outside traditional clinical settings. When they use digital tools like aTouchAway, these mental health providers can watch and collect their client’s data in real-time. Any data collected can be used to instantaneously change and alter tasks that suit each patient’s needs, ensuring their clients’ health is prioritized.
For instance, an remote patient management system can remind patients to take their medication and track their diet if they have anxiety or high-stress levels. The system can also guide the clients in managing their emotional conditions based on their health data. These customized tasks are essential for those with chronic conditions that need ongoing support, a type of support that is not usually provided through traditional means. Remote patient management can help health professionals recognize potential health risks that could have manifested from mental health conditions and halt the progression before conditions worsen.
Enhance Patient Education
Another benefit remote patient management has is that it enhances the patent’s education. Traditionally, patients have heavily relied on mental health professionals for knowledge of their specific cases. Or, patients could utilize google if the healthcare provider does not provide enough medical information. Both cases come with challenges as the healthcare provider may not be able to communicate with the patient within a specific time frame, and the patients might find themselves informed with false data. Both of these situations’ shortcomings are due to time constraints.
Remote patient management solves these challenges as the patients have access to personalized educational materials to meet the client’s needs. Patients can learn more about their conditions and how to manage them effectively, and will even receive resources based on changes to their condition. Especially for those who are skeptical about the medications, lessons, diagnoses, and treatments assigned to them can do more research with the information their mental health providers give. Additionally, health professionals can also update the material when needed – anywhere, anytime digitally. When educational materials are supplied, platforms encourage healthcare professionals and their patients to share mutual decision-making. When healthcare professionals involve their patients in their plans, providers promote transparency in their client relationships. Doing so creates a safe space while tuning into their patient’s preferences. This dynamic overall leads to fewer complications and improved results.
Organize Easy Scheduling for Meetings
Additionally, remote patient management can also streamline scheduling for behaviour therapy meetings between patients and healthcare providers. Traditionally, patients have had to make appointments with their counselors or psychologists through phone calls for in-person consultations. This process can be quite time-consuming and inconvenient. With remote patient management, patients can schedule their virtual appointments easily through the digital application. Not only can patients schedule a meeting outside of traditional business hours but they do not have to go out of their way to schedule an appointment. This feature is quite beneficial for those with busy schedules or mobility limitations. With all things considered, digital integration saves time, and reduces the need for travel and other expenses for both the clients and healthcare providers.
Maximize the Benefits of Remote Patient Management
Overall, remote patient management is a powerful tool that can transform mental health care today. The ability to remotely access mental health reduces barriers to seeking treatment, especially for those who experience geographic limitations. This can result in better outcomes for patients and healthcare providers. Innovative features solve many problems associated with traditional care and can help patients better manage their mental health conditions, leading to improved outcomes and a better quality of life.
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