Valley psychologists switch to online treatment during COVID-19 pandemic
PHOENIX — As the number of positive coronavirus test results in Arizona continue to increase, residents are undertaking new measures to ensure social distancing.
Telemedicine — the practice of doctors treating patients remotely via modern technology — has become more popular and more practical for many in the Valley as they seek the care of medical professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biltmore Psychology and Counseling recently made the decision to move all appointments to phone or video sessions.
“That was a super hard decision for us,” Dr. Melissa Estavillo told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
“We went back and forth because we know not everyone feels comfortable with telehealth, but there is a significant portion of our [clients] that have medical conditions.”
Estavillo is hopeful that social distancing will help stop the spread of coronavirus in Arizona and allow her to continue treating her patients.
“We have moved all of our services to every single person’s home,” Estavillo added.
“Our office coordinator is working from home answering phones and doing email; each one of the therapists is at home and we’re using different telehealth platforms and we still have our same schedule as before.”
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s not solely physical symptoms that medical experts are treating; psychological stress can also take its toll on patients.
Estavillo believes right now is an important time for people to prioritize their mental state.
“It’s very commonly known that stress can lower our immune system,” she said.
While practicing self-isolation and social distancing, Estavillo also recommends that everyone stay connected with loved ones as a means of staying comforted during the COVID-19 pandemic.