World Mental Health Day 2021
In October, we recognized World Mental Health Day. While I’d love to believe it was meaningful across the globe, the chances are it was not.
The reason? I believe it's because so many people across the world are too embarrassed to share their own anxiety or depression, much less more complex challenges. They do not want to be singled out, judged, or mocked.
Even so, much has been done in recent years to more openly address mental health and the needs of so many to manage their own challenges. Even the NFL in the United States has made a concerted effort to have professional football players speak openly (and on television) about their own mental health challenges. While it is not necessarily a message that instills compassion in others across the globe, each small step forward on this subject makes a difference.
It is interesting how cautious many are in the United States to openly share their mental health needs, particularly given the significant impact on millions who have found themselves reeling in the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
We remain continually proud of our own telepsychiatrists, who see patients virtually across the U.S., at all hours of the day and night. Each patient receives his or her undivided attention from a psychiatrist, who patiently evaluates the needs of each patient. Our physicians are consistently compassionate with all patients, something I admire more than I really have words. It is so meaningful.
One example of the balance between the need for a World Mental Health Day and the day to day needs of patients is in this data point. In September 2021, VirtualMed telepsychiatrists saw 1,743 patients in ER settings. That is a significant number of patients being assessed and cared for at all hours of the day. What matters most is the care, not the clock.
Perhaps every day is World Mental Health Day, but the importance of this effort even once a year pairs nicely, and with great meaning, to the actual number of patients seen in a given month. When assessed annually, this care is fundamentally important to tens of thousands of patients of ours in a calendar year, and the consistency of care for these patients remains our mission. Which is simply this: to See More Patients. And by “seeing”, we mean evaluating and helping patients with true mental health needs.
Here's to our psychiatrists, and to the patients in need of their care. This is what the world needs.