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Mental Health Professionals Can Help America Return to Normal

With more Americans being vaccinated and regulations relaxing across the country, day-to-day life is starting to feel more normal than it has in a long time as we adjust to life post-COVID. Kids are returning back to school, temporary remote workers are coming back to the office, and businesses like gyms, spas, and amusement parks are reopening to the public.

However, despite the steady return to normalcy, many people are still recovering from the pandemic. Stress and anxiety had a drastic effect on people’s physical and mental health during the last year, causing excessive weight gain or loss, changes in sleep patterns, delayed healthcare visits, and more. Many Americans lost loved ones to COVID-19 and are still sorting through their grief. Some people have experienced major financial injury and are trying to recover after losing their job, foreclosing on a house, or shutting down a business.

Returning to normal means more than resuming the activities and lifestyle people knew before COVID-19 took the world off its hinges. It also means sorting through the trauma the pandemic has caused and addressing the suffering mental health of millions of people. It sounds like a daunting task, but it is moments like these that mental health professionals can make a real difference in the communities around them.

Need help connecting with new clients? Learn how Ravel Mental Health can help.

Addressing America’s Growing Mental Health Needs

There is no question about it: America is experiencing a mental health crisis. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans’ mental health has been worsening and lack of access to treatment has posed a major issue. This can put a lot of the burden on therapists to bridge the gap and meet the growing need for their services.

However, many mental health professionals struggle to reach people in their community who need help. Let’s take a look at the current situation in post-COVID America and how providers can be part of the solution. 

Growing Need for Mental Health Services

According to the State of Mental Health in America’s 2021 report, the prevalence of mental illness is increasing for both American youth and adults, with an uptick in severe major depression, suicidal ideation, and anxiety and depression among all ages, races, and ethnicities.

This year’s report also included a spotlight on how COVID-19 affected mental health with the following key findings:

  • 70% of people screened for having moderate to severe symptoms of depression or anxiety from April to September 2020 identified loneliness or isolation as a top-three contributing factor.
  • In September 2020, 37% of screened individuals reported having suicidal thoughts more than half or nearly every day of the month. For 11 to 17 years old, this rate was over 50%.
  • 80% of individuals screened for depression or anxiety scored moderate to severe for their symptoms.
  • 60% of youth with depression did not receive mental health treatment in 2020 and only 27% of youth with severe depression who receive treatment were given consistent care.
  • 10.8% of Americans were uninsured, which is the first time this rate has raised since the Affordable Care Act was passed.

Shortage of Mental Health Professionals

We know the number of people who need help navigating a mental illness, grief, or other difficult life situations is growing, especially after the trauma COVID-19 caused for so many Americans. However, a shortage of providers is placing strain on mental health professionals around the nation.

While about 20% of Americans have a mental illness, 77% of US counties report a severe shortage of mental health providers. The demand for essential mental healthcare is expected to increase following the COVID-19 pandemic, but the number of providers is expected to decrease as many older professionals in the field are aging out while not enough younger providers are joining the workforce.   

Additionally, not all communities are affected equally. Rural communities often have the hardest time accessing care. A 2015 geographic report from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine reported the following findings:

  • 65% of non-metropolitan counties lacked a psychiatrist, 47% lacked a psychologist, and 81% lacked a psychiatric nurse practitioner. 
  • Non-core counties report even more severe shortages, with 80% lacking a psychiatrist, 61% lacking a psychologist, and 91% lacking a psychiatric nurse practitioner.
  • This compares to metropolitan counties where 25% lacked a psychiatrist, 19% lacked a psychologist, and 42% lacked a psychiatric nurse practitioner. 

People living in rural communities may need to travel long distances to access care, which can make receiving regular care or emergency services difficult. Not to mention, many of these communities do not offer public transportation services, which can further limit access to treatment.

Also, low-income communities and those with a higher rate of black or Hispanic residents often have fewer mental health treatment facilities and treatment resources compared to primarily white or high-income communities.

Being the Mental Health Solution Americans Need

As a mental health professional, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless trying to help your community following the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, there’s little you can do personally on a large scale to address the growing demand for services and shortage of providers across the nation.

However, an innovative solution is coming to helping both therapists and clients navigate the current mental health environment. Ravel Mental Health is an up-and-coming platform that is designed to help you increase efficiency and more easily reach clients who need your services.

If you’re like many mental health professionals, you may be swamped with phone calls and online messages from people inquiring about your services. You may find it impossible to return every call that comes your way spend endless hours turning away people because you don’t have any availability, offer the services they’re looking for, or accept their insurance.

Ravel Mental Health addresses all these pain points by providing you with a highly customizable therapy profile and booking system that makes it easier for clients who are the right fit to find you. Some of these features include:

  • Categorizing your services by religion, language, modalities, specialties, provider type, and treatment approaches
  • Displaying available appointment times to new clients and managing booking online
  • Customizing your profile with photos, videos, text bios, and more to personally connect with new clients
  • Sending automatic email reminders to both providers and clients to avoid ever missing an appointment

The state of mental healthcare post-COVID will require a major change in what mental health services in America should look like. This means becoming more efficient and developing ways to streamline booking new clients. Mental health providers will need to adapt their processes by accepting new technologies, promoting telehealth, optimizing billing methods, and utilizing an efficient online booking system.

Ravel Mental Health is a part of this solution by allowing clients to search for a provider who offers the services they need and has availability when they need them. By the time they get to the “book appointment” option, clients will already have all the essential details they need to know you’re the right fit. This means less disappointment and frustration for clients who can’t seem to find the care they need and less stress and time wasted for providers who are struggling to connect with qualified leads.

Want to revolutionize your services? Register to stay updated with Ravel Mental Health.

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