Why Continuing Psychiatric Care During a Pandemic is so Important


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all areas of our lives, from the way we work or go to school, the way we socialize, and the way we do everyday things like going to the grocery store or the doctor’s office. Unfortunately, the best way to combat the virus – physical distance and isolation – are primary risk factors for a range of poor mental health outcomes. Because of these risk factors, avoiding gaps in mental health care is more important than ever. 

COVID-19 and Mental Health

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation brief released in August of 2020, multiple studies link social isolation and loneliness to poor mental health, and data from late March shows that individuals sheltering in place reported higher rates of negative mental health effects resulting from worry or stress related to coronavirus. Research also shows that job loss is associated with increased depression, anxiety, distress, and low self-esteem, potentially leading to higher rates of substance use disorder and suicide. Individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders pre-pandemic, and those newly affected, will likely require mental health and substance use services, creating an even higher demand. 

Continuity of Care with Telepsychiatry

At innovaTel, we believe telepsychiatry is the key to the continuity of care necessary during these unprecedented times, especially in underserved areas. Consistent, high-quality care is essential for successful patient outcomes; however, in many areas across the country, there are simply not enough providers with the community to meet patient demand. That’s where telepsychiatry comes in. Telepsychiatry brings more resources to areas in need without the wait times associated with waiting for providers to become available locally. Telepsychiatry is also ideal for the need to remain socially distant, allowing clinicians and patients to connect remotely. The combination of lower wait times and the ability to meet safely make telepsychiatry an ideal option for reducing gaps in care.

Additional Psychiatric Coverage

If your organization is in need of additional coverage, innovaTel Telepsychiatry is ready and able to help you respond to the needs in your community. innovaTel has a remote team of licensed psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and social workers who deliver telehealth services in partnership with your community-based clinics to deliver care to your patients no matter where they are located. Our clinicians function as members of your team, integrating with your existing workflows for sessions that run smoothly whether your patients are receiving care in the clinic or remotely. 

Additional Psychiatric Coverage

As we approach the end of 2020, it’s clear that we still have a long road ahead of us in handling the virus and we should continue to leverage telepsychiatry to address the needs in our communities. If your organization is in need of additional psychiatric coverage, we encourage you to contact one of our telepsychiatry experts today.

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