The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on people across the globe. If you are like women everywhere, you may have been feeling increased stress since the pandemic started. Between our families, jobs and personal lives, women are juggling more responsibilities than ever. At a time when women are shouldering added stress, Teladoc’s virtual mental healthcare service can offer flexible, affordable options where women can go for much-needed care.

COVID-19’s impact on women’s mental health

Women’s employment is 19% more at risk than men’s in the wake of COVID-19. That’s because women are overrepresented in industries that have been hit hardest by the pandemic, like food service, entertainment and retail. Among those women who remain in the workforce, one in four are considering leaving their jobs or reducing their hours as a result of burnout and/or household responsibilities. Because of these extra burdens being placed on women, 27% of women across nearly 40 countries reported that they are facing more challenges associated with mental illness.

The long-term effects of stress

Mental health challenges like stress, depression and anxiety can lead to increased health risks for women in other areas. Long term, ongoing stress can increase a person’s risk for:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Immune disorders

“There is no denying the link between mental health and other health conditions,” says Julia Hoffman, vice president of mental health strategy at Teladoc Health. “The stress faced by women during this pandemic has the potential to create public health problems that we’ll be grappling with for decades.”

Virtual therapy can help

While there is no single solution for women facing added stress because of the pandemic, virtual therapy can help women address these added stressors and get the care they need. Virtual therapy is highly personalized and convenient. At Teladoc, 40% of the people who are using our online therapy services say they wouldn’t have gotten care elsewhere. Why? Because talking with a professional through Teladoc can be more affordable and more flexible than traditional therapy. Telehealth means that women of all ages, cultural backgrounds or life stages can make mental health a priority.

How women can access virtual therapy services today

The good news for women everywhere is that millions of people already have access to virtual therapy through their primary insurance. For those who don’t have insurance or are underinsured, virtual therapy is available without insurance and can still be less expensive than traditional therapy. Whether connecting with a therapist over the phone, via video or even through text messaging, these solutions put access in the palm of women’s hands, on their terms.

Take Emma K., a Teladoc member who started using virtual therapy at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I didn’t have high hopes for therapy going in,” says Emma, of her decision to try therapy through Teladoc. “But I felt like I was making progress in leaps in bounds after talking to my Teladoc therapist. My life is much more stable and I’m able to be happy. I didn’t know it was possible to feel so stable and good most of the time.”

“I felt like I was making progress in leaps in bounds after talking to my Teladoc therapist. My life is much more stable and I’m able to be happy. I didn’t know it was possible to feel so stable and good most of the time.” -Emma K.

Through online therapy, options do exist for women to get the support they need in a way that is flexible, affordable and accessible. Women who might benefit from access to these services should contact their primary health insurance provider or go to Teladoc.com/therapy to learn more.

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SOURCES
https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/the-implications-of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and-substance-use/
https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/body
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6943a3.htm
https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/comprehensive-womens-mental-health/ethnic-and-culturaleffects-on-mental-healthcare-for-women/6BD2288637652C9E1AF83894EB819685/core-reader

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About the Author

Stephany Verstraete

Chief Marketing & Engagement Officer, Teladoc Health

Stephany Verstraete leads Teladoc Health’s global marketing and communications efforts, driving the growth of member adoption and utilization through best-in-class channel engagement strategies and consumer relationship management. She is also responsible for the market positioning of Teladoc Health’s brand and growing the product portfolio. Ms. Verstraete’s career has been dedicated to driving consumer behavior change in new and emerging industries, with a proven track record of building digital brands and growing high-performing global teams. She has held marketing leadership roles at high-profile brands including Match.com, Expedia, Kraft, and Frito-Lay. Her transition to the healthcare industry came when she served as chief marketing officer at Truveris. Ms. Verstraete holds an International Master of Business Administration from York University and an Honors Bachelor of Economics from Queen's University in Canada.

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