Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today


No Need to Wait for Mental Health Help During COVID-19

Tele-mental health services are effective and more accessible than ever before.

COVID-19 has disrupted everyone’s lives all over the planet. We have all changed our daily activities and interactions. Increasing numbers of us know people who have died or have experienced the virus. Many have lost jobs, while others are worrying about how to take care of their children and their education in the midst of uncertainty about school openings and safety.

Amid the grief, uncertainty, and anxiety, many more people are finding themselves struggling with anxiety, depression, and other common mental health struggles. Sometimes people wonder whether they should seek help now or wait until the pandemic has subsided.

The good news is that research on tele-mental health services has consistently shown no difference in effectiveness between face-to-face and online psychotherapy. Tele-mental health services have consistently shown to be effective for adults, adolescents, and children. Common problems like anxiety, depression, eating problems, substance use, and some trauma can be effectively treated with online services.

Often, online treatments can lead to higher levels of persistence in treatment and better outcomes. In addition, online help is easier to access than ever before. Prior to the pandemic, mental health services were required to be delivered in an authorized setting, such as a doctor’s office. In response to COVID-19, these rules have been relaxed and services can be delivered directly to people’s homes. Medicare, Medicaid, and many private insurance companies have approved synchronous telephone and videoconference mental health services.

Online resources such as TAO’s mindfulness library, cognitive-behavioral strategies, and acceptance and commitment therapies can help anyone address mental health struggles from anywhere via their cell phone, tablet, or computer. These resources are effective and can be used as self-help or with the help of a therapist.

Help for mental health struggles is readily available even during stay-at-home or safer-at home recommendations. If you are struggling during this pandemic, seek help now. There is no need to wait.

More from Sherry Benton Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today