Telemedicine commonly known as Telehealth, is defined as the delivery of medicine and healthrelated services via digital communication to facilitate long-distance care. Patients and clients
can receive this care from the comfort of their own homes or offices. This includes medical care,
patient education, mental health care, addiction treatment, family counseling, health information
services, and self-care. Teletherapy for addiction and mental health treatment is similar to
traditional therapy. In-person therapy does not require physical contact or laboratory tests, so it
is possible to replicate most of the therapy experience virtually, especially with video chat.

Telehealth and COVID-19

Telehealth providers have reported significant spikes in their services in the past year due to
COVID-19 due to stay-at-home orders. The COVID-19 health crisis demonstrates that the ability
to seek medical care at home can slow the spread of illness and protect vulnerable populations.
Teletherapy allows people to get addiction and mental health treatment at home without risking
the spread of infection during epidemics and pandemics.

Now that our economy and world are re-opening and teletherapy has become incredibly popular
in the past year, it seems that it is still holding strong with many clients and patients choosing
teletherapy because of the convenience.
One specific aspect of telehealth is teletherapy, which refers to mental health and addiction
treatment and counseling services provided via the Internet, phone, email, or text message
rather than in person.

Like physical illnesses, individuals with existing mental health illnesses such as anxiety and
depression need to continue treatment. Unfortunately, as a result of COVID-19, many
individuals already struggling with an anxiety disorder or other mental illness are currently
experiencing increased stress and anxiety, which can worsen their pre-existing mental health
disorder or cause them to develop a co-occurring substance use disorder. Psychotherapy and
psychiatric management, including mental health medication management, must continue to
prevent further decline and avoid potential consequences like suicide attempts, emergency
department visits, and psychiatric hospitalizations.

Individuals who have never experienced a mental health-related issue are now struggling during
these stressful times. The societal effects of the COVID-19, such as social isolation, fear of
getting sick, financial hardship, political unrest, the uncertainty of when this will end, and the
economic fallout, are causing an increase in stress and anxiety for nearly everyone.

Some examples of teletherapy include:

  • Therapy sessions over the phone
  • Online group chat for group therapy
  • Videoconferencing for individual, couples, or group therapy
  • Treatment via email or instant messenger
  • Mobile apps that connect clients to therapists and offer therapy within the app

What are the benefits of teletherapy?

  • Low barrier to entry: One of the most difficult hurdles of seeking mental health therapy is
    landing that appointment. There is a shortage of mental health experts across the United
    States, and a lengthy waiting list for appointment openings as mental health continues to
    affect millions of people. Combine that with having to be referred by your primary care
    provider, trying to find a time and location that works with your schedule, the anxiety of
    driving to your appointment and sitting in the waiting room, and the stress associated
    with insurance approval. All of these factors are significant barriers to seeking mental
    health treatment. However, virtual therapy eliminates most, if not all, of these barriers                
  • Flexibility and comfort: Teletherapy allows you to connect with a treatment specialist
    from the comfort of your own home or office, around times when you are free. You do
    not have to leave work early, make the long drive in traffic or worry about being late to
    an appointment, but instead, you can schedule a time when you will be at home, without
    any distractions. 
  • Improved communications: When clients are more comfortable in their own
    surroundings, they tend to open up and share more, helping the session go smoothly for
    both the provider and the client.
  • Access for everyone: Teletherapy allows access for college students, access for working
    parents with a tight schedule, access for individuals with physical disabilities, and access
    for individuals who live far away.

AKUA Mind and Body

AKUA Mind and Body provides teletherapy to individuals struggling with a mental health or
substance use disorder. AKUA’s online platform will connect individual clients with a trained and
licensed therapist who can provide a comprehensive treatment regimen individualized for each
client who needs outpatient treatment. AKUA Mind and Body treats mental health disorders,
addiction disorders, trauma-related disorders, and co-occurring disorders.

How can AKUA benefit you?

  • Build life skills
  • Create a support network
  • Develop positive coping strategies
  • Weekly outcome assessments on your progress
  • Team collaboration to assist you in your goals and success
  • Learn yoga, mindfulness, and meditation
  • 12-step, Refuge Recovery, and SMART recovery support

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