It could be months before face-to-face therapy can restart, but that’s not stopping people from seeking counselling during the lockdown.
Online therapy is all over the news as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an increase in stress and anxiety in people, both in people with diagnosed mental health issues and those without. Big publications such as Metro, Independent, The Guardian, and BBC have all talked about life in lockdown and its impact on mental health and the surge in online therapy demand.
All these publications highlight the same thing: life in lockdown is having a negative impact on people’s mental health. And, a new survey from the Office of National Statistics backs it up, revealing that people in the UK are more worried about stress, boredom, and anxiety than their general health during these uncertain times.
Mental health problems on the rise due to the lockdown
The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has brought many changes in people’s lives all around the world. We are isolated from our loved ones, we have our daily routines disrupted, and we all deal with the fear of getting the virus or having one of our loved ones affected by the virus. On top of that, the pandemic has also messed with our finances, closing businesses, and making work contracts and wages. Plus, not to mention the constant worry about when this will be over and what life will look like post-lockdown.
Now, feelings of stress and anxiety are normal during these uncertain times. However, coping with them isn’t easy, especially since they can lead to more serious mental health issues.
Online therapy during the lockdown
Getting face-to-face therapy during lockdown is out of the question. Authorities have imposed various restrictions, including lockdown and social distancing restrictions, to stop the virus from spreading. So, what can people who need counselling do during the lockdown?
Online therapy isn’t a new concept. It has been growing in popularity thanks to all the benefits it brings on the table, including ease of access, reduced costs, and flexibility.
Yet, during the lockdown, it seems that it is surging in demand as people are feeling overwhelmed by all these new and powerful negative emotions and those with diagnosed mental health issues don’t have access to traditional therapy.
For example, BBC posted a story about Online music therapy that aims to help people with dementia during the lockdown. Metro also talks about how more and more private therapists are offering online therapy services to support their clients safely, from the comfort of their own homes.
Virtual therapy isn’t even that different than face-to-face sessions. The main difference between the two is that clients and therapists held the sessions from their own homes. Yet, in essence, the counselling sessions remain the same and have the same results.
So, whether continuing treatment or contracting a therapist for the first time, people are turning to online therapy to deal with their mental health issues and cope with all the negative emotions brought by the ongoing pandemic.