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How Behavioral Health Providers Can Prepare for an Increase in Trauma Treatment After COVID-19

How Behavioral Health Providers Can Prepare for an Increase in Trauma Treatment After COVID-19

posted by: Nicole Hovey date: Apr 30, 2020 category: Blog comments: Comments Off on How Behavioral Health Providers Can Prepare for an Increase in Trauma Treatment After COVID-19

With some data suggesting that the COVID-19 pandemic may be slowing down in the United States, the White House and several states have begun to discuss how to relax stay-at-home orders and reopen the economy.

However, the mental health effects of the pandemic and economic shutdowns could persist for weeks, months, and possibly years. This may increase the need for trauma-based therapy and strain the nation’s behavioral health and addiction treatment resources.

As society returns to a “new normal,” more behavioral health issues may arise. For example, parts of the nation are seeing increased alcohol consumption in quarantined households. Here are some ways behavioral health providers can prepare for an increased demand for trauma treatment.

Understand the potential sources of trauma

Hundreds of millions of Americans have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic in some way, directly or indirectly. Sources of trauma from the experience may include:

Severe illness and prolonged recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
Experiencing a loved one who was ill or died from COVID-19
Fears over health services that have been rescheduled due to COVID-19
Job loss and resulting financial anxieties and identity struggles
Stress and anxiety from caring for loved ones or adjusting daily life during the pandemic
Depression from social isolation
Increase in domestic abuse during quarantine

Each of these situations may affect individuals in different ways, requiring a variety of approaches for treating any resulting trauma.

Understand best practices for treating trauma

Numerous evidence-based therapies have been developed to address trauma. Some of these include:

Each of these situations may affect individuals in different ways, requiring a variety of approaches for treating any resulting trauma.

Understand best practices for treating trauma.

Numerous evidence-based therapies have been developed to address trauma. Some of these include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Exposure Therapy
Medications, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs, usually combined with other types of therapy
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy
Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)
Psychodynamic Trauma Therapy
Support groups

Consider obtaining trauma certification.

Not all behavioral health clinicians may have the training or experience to provide a full range of services for clients seeking trauma therapy. Continuing education credits or units can help prepare clinicians to deliver appropriate trauma-focused therapies.

Several organizations, such as the International Association of Trauma Professionals or the Trauma Institute & Child Trauma Institute, offer certifications to professionals who complete the required training in addressing trauma. The Epis Center at Penn State also offers trauma resources for therapists.

Recommend additional counseling for financial difficulties.

After restrictions have eased and the coronavirus pandemic has subsided, many behavioral health concerns will be associated with financial difficulties. An estimated 22 million U.S. workers have filed for unemployment due to business closures, tighter budgets, and changes in consumer demands and habits during the pandemic.

Behavioral health clinicians should become familiar with the financial or career counseling services available in their communities. Behavioral health providers may also consider a shift in their payment own methods to accommodate clients who have lost their insurance or cannot afford copays. This can prepare you to offer additional resources to clients who are struggling financially.

Get the right solutions to manage new clients and increased demand.

As a behavioral health provider, you use different treatment approaches for different clients and settings. Make sure your EHR solution is just as flexible.

BestNotes EHR solutions can be customized to your unique needs to help you save time, reduce frustration, improve profitability, and meet documentation and reporting requirements. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a demo.

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