TUCSON, Ariz. – With so many people physically sick from COVID-19, you may not have as much time to focus on the toll the pandemic is taking on our mental health. But many people are experiencing a range of stressful problems, from feelings of isolation to concerns about personal finances and politics, and of course, worry about our kids and their future.
“Numerous studies have shown that teletherapy can be as effective as in-person care. And they can offer patients more scheduling flexibility, convenience, privacy, and a bigger pool of potential therapists,” says Rachel Rabkin Peachman, Consumer Reports Investigative Reporter.
If you’re interested in finding a therapist who will see you virtually, a good place to begin is by asking for a referral from your primary care provider, family or friends. A number of websites can be a good resource as well, like the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association.
If you have health insurance, you can also look on your insurer’s website for a list of therapists covered under your plan. There are also free options out there.
“You can call 211 or visit 211.org for a referral to a provider who offers support at no cost or on a sliding scale based on your budget. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and talk anonymously to a trained mental-health professional for free, says Rabkin Peachman.
And to get the most out of a virtual session, it’s important that you feel comfortable with the therapist.
“When talking to a prospective therapist, ask about the person’s years in practice, specialties, therapy techniques, and fee,” says Rabkin Peachman.
And if you or someone you know needs help, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), or message the Crisis Text Line at 741741. Both programs provide free, confidential support 24/7.