How Our 24 Hour Doctor Culture is Good for Mental Health
24 hour doctor culture is growing, with more and more people starting to use online medical services as an alternative or addition to seeing a GP in person. And there are signs that it may serve as part of the solution to the ongoing mental health crisis, of which nearly 1 in 2 people will experience at least once in their life.
Telemedicine is radically transforming the way we manage our health and wellbeing – including our mental health. The fast-paced busyness of modern life has arguably made it more difficult to cope with the constant pressures of life. Being able to access professional help online virtually instantly can help ease some of these pressures, and makes it much easier to get help when it’s needed.
Some of the ways a 24 hour doctor can help the mental health crisis include:
An estimated 70% of people suffering from a mental illness worldwide do not receive the care they need. This is due to a range of factors, one of which may include a lack of easy access to a mental health care professional. In particular, people who live in rural areas and those who do not have appropriate transport options may struggle to get help. An online 24 hour doctor makes it easier for these people to get help by allowing them to speak to a medical professional from the comfort of their own home.
Additionally, people with conditions such as agoraphobia may avoid going to see a GP in person and as such could benefit greatly from telemedicine. The ability to access a doctor 24/7 is also highly convenient and can help those with tight work schedules.
Evidence suggests that online therapy for mental illnesses is just as effective at reducing symptoms as face-to-face therapy, especially in the cases of anxiety, depression and stress. Online therapy works similarly to in-person treatment, with psychological treatments typically involving cognitive behavioural therapy. There are a range of treatment tools available online which are proven to be highly effective in many cases.
Each patient’s mental health is different and requires different treatment. Some may require assistance from a psychologist, whilst others may also benefit from seeing a psychiatrist, dietician and an occupational therapist. A 24 hour doctor will collaborate with other health practitioners in order to provide a holistic solution to a patient’s needs that is more likely to result in effective short and long-term outcomes.
Facilitating a safe environment
Going into the GP’s office can be an intimidating and uncomfortable experience for some, which can cause stress to patients and potentially cause them to avoid medical visits. Using an online 24 hour doctor enables patients to select an environment that is comfortable for them, whether it’s in the home or office, and helps put them at ease.
The fee for seeing an online 24 hour doctor is typically lower than visiting a GP in a medical centre. This can help patients save money. Using an online service can also limit the need for a costly visit to the emergency room in the case where it is unwarranted, and help save money on transportation costs. Online medical care can also save the government a lot of money.
An online 24 hour doctor is arguably part of the solution to the growing mental health crisis. It allows for high quality, affordable mental health care, and is especially promising at improving individual care for people who are at a disadvantage geographically, economically or socially.