NSIV member, iHope Network, responds to rising mental health issues and demand for telemedicine, as a result of the Coronavirus.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a health and financial crisis of unprecedented caliber. Although medical research on creating new testing and treatments is essential to saving lives, a second pressing concern is increasing mental health issues stemming from stress and uncertainty during a pandemic. Social distancing protocols have made telemedicine and teletherapy more important which makes companies like iHope essential to the transition to remote healthcare.
iHope Network is a digital health company growing rapidly to help with the mental health response to COVID-19. They provide cognitive behavioral therapy to patients, young and old, via videoconference so patients can receive psychotherapy in the comfort of their own homes. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based therapy that helps with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other conditions. This therapy is shorter-term but helps patients develop skills that can be used for a lifetime to deal with mental health. Learn more in this video here.
A huge part of a pandemic is mental health, with unemployment at an all-time high, uncertainty persisting, decreased social interaction, inability to see sick relatives, trauma for doctors working at this time, and more. iHope is doing their part to help the increasing number of people experiencing anxiety, trauma, and other issues that come with a crisis. For example, college students who are supposed to be graduating and are uncertain about the future of their careers are experiencing anxiety for good reasons. CBT for anxiety can help them prevent that anxiety from having an adverse impact on their lives. iHope works with college counseling centers as well as referrals from primary care doctors.
“We are doing more work than we have ever done before, with more organizations, and in more states, because there’s more demand for behavioral health care,” said CEO Tom Hunter. “It’s a question of finding more resources and finding more therapists and doing all we can to help our patients.”
The Coronavirus has broken down barriers in the world of teletherapy and telemedicine. There are decades of research supporting its effectiveness. COVID-19 is causing many doctors, nurses, or patients who might not have been aware of the benefits of telemedicine to try the technology to limit the spread of the virus. This has given iHope the opportunity to show that their programs have many benefits and will be used during and long after the current pandemic. Not only can users not contract an illness through a computer screen, which is especially important for those in quarantine, but teletherapy is the future of convenient and accessible therapy when people need it, where they need it.