The official definition of Telemedicine is: ‘the diagnosis and treatment of patients via telecommunications technology.’
When I first heard that medicine was branching out into Telemedicine, I really wasn’t sure how it would work. How could a doctor diagnose your symptoms based on what you described in a live chat? Surely they would not be able to their job accurately without feeling your abdomen, or manipulating a limb, or taking your vital signs with their equipment. But then I thought about all the areas of medicine there are and how the approach to helping patients needs to be different for each and every patient to get the best care possible. Not everyone needs to have their pulse taken. Sometimes they just need to know that someone is listening to them.
There is such a big campaign at the moment in the media and through out the Internet to try and get help to anyone out there who is suffering from mental health issues. There are many people who suffer in silence, for a number of reasons, but often because they are unsure of where to turn to for help or because asking for help is just too frightening.
BetterHelp, who are an excellent online counselling company, approached me and asked me to write this article about how Telemedicine can be so helpful to someone who has some mental health issues, whether they are looking for some guidance and counselling or just to talk to someone about a difficult period in their life.
BetterHelp is made up of a bank of qualified therapists who all have knowledge and expertise in the field of mental health. You are matched with a therapist, who you can speak to through the Internet either on your computer or phone via video chatting or instant messaging facilities.
There are many benefits of talking to a counsellor online, but the one that I feel is most prominent is that sometimes it is easier to talk to someone about how you feel through a keyboard than it is face to face. We live in a world where many people make friends through social media because there is a greater sense of ease when typing how you feel rather than trying to explain it in words while feeling the social pressures that come with face to face conversations. Especially when the subject matter you are talking about is sensitive and difficult for you to express. Talking to a counsellor online means you can take the time to review what you have typed, make adjustments so you can say exactly what you want to, and send it when you are absolutely ready.
You can have these conversations with your online counsellor from the comfort of your own home, or in an environment where you feel safe, rather than going to a medical office, which can be a very stressful experience. As these services are online, another positive of online counselling is that everyone can access these services. It doesn’t matter if there are factors in your life which make leaving the house extremely difficult or if you need to fit the appointments around the other commitments in your life, having resources online means it can fit in with you.
Obviously, online counselling might not be the right path for everyone, but the positives of it may reduce the stresses and the reasons why someone has not sought out help before now, giving them a real opportunity to access some much needed professional help.
The Internet has changed so many ways in which we do things, and the ideas of Telemedicine shows that the Internet can help us in the medical world too, by eliminating barriers and spreading help to hard to reach places and to people feeling vulnerable and unable to speak out.
To find out more about BetterHelp and the services they provide, please follow the link: https://www.betterhelp.com/online-counseling/
When suffering from mental health issues, sometimes the help you need can come from the most surprising places. I hope that one of you out there reading this finds this article helpful and it gives you some confidence that there is a pathway to some help that is perfect for you.
Much love at this festive time,
Please note: This is a paid partnership with BetterHelp, however the speech and thoughts explained in this article are my own. This article cannot be used as a substitute for medical advice. I am just presenting an alternative way to access mental health advice. Thank you.