Online Therapy Paradigm Shift
April 5, 2017
Online therapy is needed to address the overwhelming mental health burden. Recent reports have signaled that the global situation is causing over 300 million people to be battling a mental health condition.
An expert around the globe for psychiatry, Michael Krausz of the University of British Columbia, said that “e-mental health” should be a major part of the answer.
This is quickly becoming one of the costliest issues facing countries with far-reaching impact that is connected to healthcare costs, productivity levels, homelessness, incarceration, and more.
Research also indicates that most people battling mental health conditions are not receiving the needed care they deserve in a just world. The only way to provide this care to the mass of people needing it is by harnessing technological innovation of online therapy.
The global system is currently only serving roughly 10 percent of the people who are impacted.
Specialists at the European Congress on Psychiatry (ECP) said:
“the web is the only option for significant extra treatment capacity.”
The World Health Organization has indicated that mental health conditions are the leading cause of disability around the globe. Behaviors are strongly connected to overall health and well-being, and when behavioral health is negative this causes detriment to overall health.
Many other areas of health have drastically improved over the last few decades for such things as cancer and heart disease, whereas mental health conditions are reaching a crisis.
In fact, depression rates have risen by more than 18 percent since 2005, according to the WHO.
Two of the main reasons that people are not improving or receiving the care that they need is due to the lack of available resources, as well as the stigma that is associated with receiving some form of care.
How can we help our great doctors who are already overburdened with limited time, energy, and resources to interact with the staggering demand?
How can we provide a resource that breaks down the walls of stigma allowing people to openly discuss what is on their mind without being judged?
“Through a proactive approach we can create an additional virtual system of care which could build capacity, improve the quality of care and make mental health care more effective,” Krausz told the ECP.
Online therapy paradigm shift provides solutions that can overcome both obstacles:
- Working with the National Science Foundation, Chicago-based social enterprise Prevail Health invented clinically proven digital behavioral health technology. The technology was built with a leading team of doctors throughout the country and is built on the proven methods of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), with a peer-to-peer model wrapped around it. The technology has gone through multiple published clinical trials showing that it is just as effective as seeing a clinician face-to-face, but for 99 percent less cost.
- By acting in an anonymous manner, Prevail’s platform is reaching out and allowing people to take the first, often the hardest, step to begin receiving care. It all starts through an anonymous peer chat that people can access on any phone, tablet, or computer literally 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The issue could be issues such as having a bad day at work, to not doing well at a presentation, to losing a loved one, and anything in between. Prevail has been working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to continue pioneering a new model of care through peer specialists—people who have also battled similar issues, worked through recovery, and went through training to help the next batch of people. Prevail now has a burgeoning ecosystem of nearly 500 peers standing by and ready to help.