Benjamin Gordon Palm Beach says, while the behavioral health sector was already attracting funding and innovation, COVID-19 accelerated this trend. Reports suggest that online startups garnered $588 million alone in the first half of the year in this sector, compared to 2019, which took the entire year to reach this amount. However, experts believe that it is not just the growth of online platforms leading to such developments. The change in society’s outlook towards mental health is also responsible for such changes. Today, there is an understanding that everyone goes through different struggles in many capacities, something which many may not have recognized before the pandemic. Hence, there was a cumulative effect of all of these factors, leading to magnificent changes seen in the healthcare sector. Below, we explore this angle a bit more.
Benjamin Gordon Palm Beach:
The pandemic’s positive impact on behavioral health care
around mental health
Last year, cases of depression and anxiety increased. In the first wave itself, the virus took a toll on many. Then, lockdowns negatively impacted the economy, which affected the job market. All of this led to increased behavioral health issues. The silver lining through this crisis has been the increased awareness of behavioral health issues. People realized that early detection and stigma reduction (of both the coronavirus and mental health issues)could help a lot. As a result, the demand for services skyrocketed, which experts believe is a positive trend because it can speed up the delivery of health care through innovations.
According to Benjamin Gordon Palm Beach, the sudden rise in demand for help with behavioral health can be attributed to factors like working from home, fewer social interactions, and remote, at-home learning for children.
Substance abuse, mental health, and behavioral health sectors lacked evidence-based research. However, we have seen a change in this issue. People are attempting to reduce their dependence on anecdotal evidence by pursuing clinically approved questionnaires. These questionnaires help gauge the severity of one’s depression and anxiety. It also tracks patients’ needs to improve its questionnaires. Studies show that social media habits, text messages, and other social media habits can show a lot about a person’s mental health. The challenge is, not everyone feels comfortable allowing technology to track their behavior.
Medical science has always depended on technology and innovation for its advancement. Still, the progress has been slow due to bureaucracy, rules, and regulations. The pandemic helped the healthcare industry in its delivery of care, covering gaps observed for a decade almost overnight (e.g. telehealth platforms). Lockdowns and reimbursement changes in Medicare & Medicaid Servicessupported new platforms and new ways to receive care.
According to Benjamin Gordon Palm Beach, the reduced stigma around mental health, combined with COVID-related stress, has helped people pay attention and seek help for their mental health needs. Consumers have more options now, and fewer people have to worry about what others might think when seeking mental healthcare, thanks to the reduced stigma. The pandemic has taught lessons to humankind in an incredibly hard way. Healthcare services will improve on all fronts if people continue realizing that mental health and physical health are equally important.