COVID-19 Has More People Seeking Out Therapy For First Time

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COVID-19 Has More People Seeking Out Therapy For First Time
Newsy’s latest poll found around 1 in 10 sought out therapy since the pandemic began.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

The COVID-19 pandemic has led more people to try therapy for the first time in their lives.

"As we stabilize their psychosis and you continue to speak with them, you get down to it and they're like, 'I was really anxious, over COVID,'" said Dr. Eric French, Medical Director of Adult Psychiatry at Colorado's Medical Center of Aurora.

Newsy’s latest poll found around 1 in 10 (12%) sought out therapy since the pandemic began – with 46% saying it was their first time seeking it. 

Among those who sought out therapy, men were significantly more likely than women to get therapy for the first time (63% vs. 21%). Traditionally, men are much less likely to see a mental health professional. 

Some experts think telepsychiatry could be lowering the stigma to make this increase possible.

"Most people are really getting the handle of telepsychiatry pretty quickly. I don't see that beyond connectivity and the ability to work muting and making yourself available via a video. There's really not too much else that really gets in the way of psychiatry, because if you do think about it, what we do is conversation," French said.

French is the director of adult psychiatry at the Medical Center of Aurora — an in-patient and outpatient mental health facility. He says right now they’re 85% full, but he expects to fill up at some point. 

"What we see routinely as we begin to peel away those layers and get the patient back to their baseline — COVID is underneath a lot of these admissions, whether that be being acutely depressed or panic attacks or triggering PTSD. And it's amazing," French said. 

Which is why mental health advocates continue to encourage getting help if you feel like you need it.