Hello again everyone! I can’t believe we are already on week 5.
I spent this week finishing my regressions and starting my graphs and charts. I also have begun planning the format for my final paper. However, I wanted to spend this blog post talking about something interesting that I noticed which is the impact of telehealth and teletherapy on mental health during the pandemic.
As I discussed previously, urban states generally had a worse mental health impact than rural states because there were stricter lockdown restrictions. During the pandemic, there was the introduction of telehealth which is health services being distributed online. Psychological and psychiatric services went online and people were able to receive mental health help through zoom, facetime, phone calls or other services. This helped bridge the gap in mental health resources in urban and rural communities. Rural communities have an average of 9.1 psychologists per 100,000 people while urban communities have 30 psychologists per 100,000 people. Before the pandemic, getting to a psychologist required long drives and there were minimal resources in rural communities. Teletherapy allowed rural communities to get the mental health help they couldn’t access before. Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a poll to see the unmet mental health need during the pandemic across all 50 states. The percentages of people not receiving mental health help during the pandemic were similar in rural and urban states. This is really interesting to me because it shows the potential good outcomes that came out of the pandemic.
I met with my mentor over the weekend and she also found this research interesting. She suggested that I look at the technology barriers between rural and urban areas to see if rural areas may have had limited access to teletherapy. I will look at that and let you know what I find!