UK’s Mental Health Crisis Alleviated by Online Therapy Services from Onebright
Around 1.6 million Britons are waiting for specialised treatment, and another 8 million cannot get on the waiting list but would benefit from support, according to the heads of the NHS Confederation and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Could online therapy be the key to unlocking the mental health crisis?
A survey of thousands of therapists by the European Association for Psychotherapy found that people are presenting more feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression, and relationship difficulties since lockdown.
Many people experienced the loss of income and long-term unemployment. Sleep difficulties are more prevalent due to overwhelming anxiety, changes in structure and increased weight.
The pandemic stressed people out emotionally, physically and financially.
While it is positive to see people reaching out to mental health services for support, this is a considerable rise in the number of people seeking treatment and is putting even more pressure on a public health system that was already stretched pre-pandemic.
The cost of delaying mental health treatment
Timely access for those who need mental health services is a critical issue. Considerable further harm can be caused by long waits for psychological therapies, exacerbating mental health problems and could lead to a mental health crisis in some individuals.
Studies show that early treatment usually leads to better outcomes. The longer an illness persists, the more difficult it can be to treat and recover. Untreated anxiety may escalate to panic attacks, and failing to address trauma can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. People with symptoms of depression may begin to experience the full range of depression symptoms, necessitating more intensive treatment and a more uncertain recovery journey.
The broader human costs of long waiting times are also devastating and can negatively affect all aspects of a person’s life. What may have begun as a treatable condition can quickly escalate and disrupt an individual’s career, health and relationships. Yet many people are still waiting too long to receive treatment and suffering unnecessarily.
Onebright mental health
Over the years leading up to the pandemic, Onebright’s CBT therapists have successfully treated thousands of clients using online therapy. When the pandemic hit and restrictions forced people to distance themselves socially, that’s when the experience and knowledge of Onebright’s therapists helped both existing and new clients access quality, uninterrupted mental health care.
Record numbers sought online therapy during the lockdown and have continued to seek professional advice via online therapy, many of whom are talking to someone about their wellbeing for the first time with positive results.
In one study, researchers found that when combined with clinical care, online cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can effectively treat depression, anxiety, and emotional distress. A review of 17 studies also demonstrated that online CBT was even more effective than in-person CBT at reducing the severity of depression symptoms.
While some clients have moved their online therapy sessions to face-to-face therapy due to the easing of restrictions, online therapy served as their first step in treatment.
What can people expect from their first online therapy session?
There are some misconceptions about therapy that make the first steps the hardest. Essentially, therapy sessions held online are the same as face-to-face therapy. Some people arrive at their sessions with a specific concern, while others like to let their therapist lead the session. Therapists are there to listen so they can understand your unique situation and identify coping strategies to help you through challenges.
Benefits of online therapy:
- It’s convenient: Schedule an appointment with your therapist when it works best for you.
- Have a visit from anywhere: Talk with a therapist via video chat wherever you are most comfortable.
- No waiting room: Skip the wait with scheduled appointments from the comfort of home.
- Private and secure: The two-way video chat is private and secure.
- Accredited mental health professionals: Onebright’s online therapy services are available globally and include a network of over 3000 experienced clinicians, including everyone from psychiatrists and CBT practitioners to trainers and psychotherapists.
As the mental health needs of the global population grows, Onebright is investing in cutting edge digital technology, data science and artificial intelligence (AI). We are introducing new digital tools to accurately assess, triage and match people to improve mental health treatment and to help personalise therapy so it is more effective, helping people feel better, faster.