Benefits of Telehealth in Mental Health Services
Cancer does not only affect a patient’s physical health but also their mental well-being and those around them. In fact, cancer survivors can undergo psychological distress due to the consequences of their illness or fear of the cancer recurring. In fact, Oncology Nurse Advisor even notes that cancer caregivers are prone to suffering from issues related to depression and anxiety due to their patient’s condition. While both survivors and caretakers are susceptible to mental health concerns, due to telehealth services they are now able to get more accessible healthcare. So below, we will discuss several of its benefits for cancer survivors and caretakers alike:
It offers more personalized experiences
Cancer survivors and caretakers experience unique situations that most people don’t ever encounter like worrying about whether their cancer will return. Telehealth mental services can reach practically any location, so this allows mental health professionals to observe and interact with their patient’s usual environment. As a result, Wheel outlines how telehealth companies can provide personalized experiences for patients, ensuring that they receive the effective care they need. For instance, upon observing a patient’s room, the mental health professional could suggest drawing the curtains or asking them to stay away from their old medication or treatment methods to try and improve their mood. They can also interact with the patient’s family members to ask questions in relation to the patient’s experience with cancer, so they can suggest a better treatment method. These variables are sometimes challenging to do with traditional in-person appointments.
Patients can comfortably receive care Cancer.net reveals that fatigue is one of the most common symptoms affecting survivors due to the lasting effects of their cancer or maintenance medication. Additionally, a cancer caretaker can also experience fatigue due to having to monitor their patient around the clock. In both instances, this can prevent them from seeking mental health services in favor of resting at home. Fortunately, telehealth’s remote nature means the patient can seek assistance from practically anywhere as long as they have a stable internet connection. Survivors can still attend appointments even when they’re resting at home and caretakers can still receive care without going out and tiring themselves out even more. Telehealth in mental health services ensures that treatment is comfortably delivered to patients.
It provides better access to rural residents A study from PubMed Central found that 21% of cancer survivors reside in rural regions. For them, this makes seeking mental health treatment a challenge as they need to travel to more urban destinations to get the services they need. For a cancer caretaker in rural areas, seeking mental health services would mean they would need to leave their patient for long periods, which is often not possible. With telehealth being accessible via phone or video-conferencing calls, rural residents don’t need to worry about the lack of mental health professionals in their area. Nowadays, telehealth can be delivered across state lines so there’s no need for people to trouble themselves with traveling or leaving a patient behind.
It shortens delays in the delivery of mental health care
Cancer survivors must get mental health care as soon as possible to ensure a smooth recovery process. Likewise, cancer caretakers need immediate access to mental health services to continue helping their patients to the best of their ability. However, WECT News reports that mental health patients have recently been experiencing delayed care due to long wait times and a shortage of mental health professionals. Some patients reportedly wait 30 days before getting treatment. With telehealth, they won’t need to experience the same fate. Since telehealth sessions are conducted virtually, they can get treated as soon as their doctor starts the call. This ensures that they instantly receive the proper interventions for better mental well-being. Consider using telehealth mental services and reading our article ‘Self-Care on a Budget’ to improve your mental well-being. After all, mental health is a part of your overall well-being and it’s important to stay healthy whether you’re a cancer survivor or a caretaker. Teal Diva focuses on the mental and emotional health of those affected by gynecologic cancer. Our goal is to meet our community where they are by connecting with newly diagnosed women, survivors, and their support network. Our programs include, but are not limited to active treatment support, celebrating survivorship, and honoring legacies, all while providing strength through connection.
Article written by: Jenifer Rutherford
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