The last few months, it seems the entire world is on lock down with whole countries asking their citizens to social distance and stay in doors. The culprit being Coronavirus or COVID-19.
This aggressive virus has spread quickly throughout the world from its origin in China, leaving a wake of deaths and anxiety. As the virus affects healthy young people as well as the older generation or those with existing medical conditions, anxiety is rife.
Worry from dying or contracting the virus has led to news and media sources creating eye catching clickable headlines which aids the strength of COVID-19 fueling panic and stress. Each day new stories of tragedies and healthcare struggles emerge worldwide, which many read and struggle to stop thinking about.
This, combined with pre existing anxieties and stresses, or existing health conditions can be really harmful to the mental well-being of a nation. Every time you turn on the news there are nightmarish stories of medical emergencies and insights into hospital intensive care units or delays in protective equipment for medical staff.
The other very serious consideration is isolation during a lock down, it is hard enough for anyone to consider social distancing let alone those who rely on face to face contact for company and support.
Therapy and counseling can really help with all this. However, traditionally therapists will be required in a face to face setting. With social distancing and lock downs this becomes exceedingly difficult.
With all this in mind, there is still a great deal to be positive about. Modern technology and methods of electronic communication mean that counseling and therapy can still be carried out over a smart phone, or via computer, and of course mobile phone from the comfort of your own home or out in the fresh air.
Telephone therapy or counseling can in some cases be more effective than traditional practices at a clinic or in the patients own home. For some even the thought of leaving the house can be stressful and bring on anxiety, from driving or public transport. Depression is a common side effect of anxiety and this can lead to an unwillingness to leave the house.
Severe anxiety sufferers and those suffering with post-traumatic stress disorders can struggle to even get out of their beds, so a telephone or virtual call can be a far easier thing to manage.
Phoning or communication from home is not ideal for everyone though. For patients with suicidal thoughts, and for those who have battled this in the past then telephone and virtual therapy / counseling is not a recommended method. Mental health conditions will require more face to face therapy to help the therapist to use all their skills to assess and help the individual and use appropriate methods to best help them.
However, this can be overcome to a degree with video or virtual chat where patients can be actually seen live, so that the therapist can see how they are coping.
A simple Google search for local therapists or call to your doctor or GP will be a good starting point if you think telephone or a virtual chat will help you.