Looking Back on 2020

The year 2020 will surely be remembered for the devastation and after-effects of COVID-19. It is clear that many individuals experienced a significant negative impact on their mental health functioning. Children and teens being especially vulnerable.
In a recent study (Child Mind Institute/Ipsos survey) on parents’ experiences using telehealth for their children’s mental health treatment- Conducted in September 2020 with a representative sample of 351 American parents, it was found that:
  • Emotional Well-being was declining: More than two-thirds of parents who sought help since the start of the pandemic said they had witnessed a decline in their child’s emotional well-being (72%), behavior (68%), and physical health due to decreased activities/exercise (68%).
  • Anxiety and depression were the most commonly identified problems: Anxiety (40%) and depression (37%) were found to be the most prominent issues that resulted in parents seeking telehealth services for their child. Seeking help for problem behavior (30%), ADHD (30%) or learning challenges (23%) was also common.
The good news is that the parents surveyed had all sought treatment. Here are the results of the treatment:
  • A variety of treatments were sought by survey respondents: Talk therapy (49%) was the most common service parents have accessed or sought out through telehealth for their child, though a third of parents who have used/tried to use telehealth since the start of the pandemic also reported accessing/seeking out psychiatric medication consultation (32%) and/or cognitive-behavioral therapy (31%).
  • Parent satisfaction: Parents in the survey who have used telehealth services for children reported strongly positive responses. 86% said their child had benefited, 84% said it had been a positive experience for their child, 78% said they had seen significant improvement in their child, and 87% said they would recommend it to others.
Clinicians at Behavioral Health Clinic of Wausau and Plover would like to express our sincere gratitude to all those (children and adults) who had the courage to reach out for help in 2020. Exploring telehealth for psychotherapy takes courage! Research consistently finds that telehealth outcomes for mental health show similar or better results than in-person psychotherapy for most issues and populations.
Full details of the study can be found at:
Written By: Shannon Schaefer, Ph.D.

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