WRIC: Coronavirus isolation raises mental health concerns for lawmakers and organizations

WRIC, BASIL JOHN 

For those with mental health issues, stay-at-home orders and social isolation present serious problems.

“These are all elements that are very harmful for those who might already be suffering from mental health challenges,” Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger said.

Spanberger says it further isolates those with mental health issues.

Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton says telehealth is one answer.

“I know of people who now are talking to their therapists and counselors virtually and still able to continue that relationship,” Wexton said.

Congress granted $425 million in its latest stimulus package to provide extra assistance for substance abuse and mental health services.

“We anticipate that this public health crisis will turn into a mental health crisis, ” APA Director of Clinical Research and Quality Dr. Vaile Wright said.

Wright says states need to allow mental health professionals to practice across state lines and insurance companies need to agree to reimburse patients for mental telehealth.

“I think that would really help the access and that probably does need to come down from a federal level,” Wright said.

Both Spanberger and Wexton agree and say they will do what they can to provide more federal dollars for those of us who need mental health treatment during the coronavirus crisis.

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