FRUIT HEIGHTS, Utah (ABC4 News) – Amid the global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus, maintaining mental health plays a vital role while the nation faces this crisis. Recently the Kaiser Family Foundation reported nearly 50% of adults admitted the worry and stress of COVID-19 has negatively impacted their mental health.
Job or income loss, working from home and children out of school, this compounded with state orders to quarantine indoors may take a toll a person’s mental well-being.
While most healthcare facilities are dealing COVID-19 patients, many individuals may fear physically going in for a doctor’s visit due to rapid spread of the virus. However, there are options for those sensing symptoms of a mental health disorder via telemedicine, even if funds are limited.
MoodDoctor is an online assessment that asks patients vital questions needed to see if they meet criteria for a medical diagnosis according to the Diagnostic and statistical manual of psychiatry. Typically, primary care doctors don’t have the time needed to follow these guidelines. MoodDoctor patients fill out an assessment before coming in so they can see in summary the answers to all the questions that would have been asked.
ABC4.com spoke with Dr. Corey Ericksen of MoodDoctor about how the tool serves as a way for the public to use it as a triage. Dr. Ericksen says “not everybody has anxiety or depression symptoms need to be treated, so people are wondering what their specific symptoms actually mean, and if they’re a bad enough for treatment or what their next step should be.”
An individual can go to mooddoctor.com and enter their symptoms and all the questions are asked as if they’re in an actual doctors office, to see whether they meet certain criteria for some disorder. At the end, the patient will receive a color code suggestion.
Based on the answers provided, the suggestions may find that the individual’s symptoms are just normal for this time of crisis, or perhaps the symptoms are significant and they may want to seek further mental healthcare attention, such as a counselor, crisis intervention or a doctor. If a person meets the criteria for a mental disorder, Dr. Ericksen says telemedicine services are available. The Mooddoctor assessment can be sent to a patients family doctor for treatment, or they can use the Mooddoctor’s telemedicine program.
Ericksen said “We don’t want anyone left behind, so we have made it possible for a person to pay what they can, or if they don’t have enough money and aren’t able to we still want to make sure anyone who wants it can get their mental health treatment anyway.”
Note: Services, otherwise start at $59.99
“During this time of uncertainty and increased amount stress from all the layers of the pandemic, there’s going to be increased amount of anxiety and depression” says Dr. Ericksen.
For a person with significant symptoms of a disorder, Mooddoctor wants to provide those who need treatment with a safe, affordable option.
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