ALLENTOWN, Pa. - “Typically people are surprised about how normal telehealth feels compared to a normal session,” said Allentown’s Dr. Amanda Sellers.
Amanda Sellers, a psychologist, says demand for her remote counseling has increased during the coronavirus pandemic.
“People with preexisting anxiety are a little bit more anxious, people who are prone to depression are slipping into that funk,” Sellers said.
“How important is it for people to continue to see a therapist?” WFMZ's Bo Koltnow asked Maggie Murphy, Lehigh Valley’s executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“Absolutely crucial,” she said.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the country's largest grassroots agency dealing with the issue.
“I've had several say this week is more difficult than the first few weeks of the stay-at-home order because they saw the end in sight, and that feeds into anxiety and depression,” Murphy said.
Nationally there is a huge spike in suicide prevention hotline calls.
As the director of Lehigh County's Crisis and Intervention, Lisa Cozzi overseas the local hotline and says while a spike hasn't happened yet, it's only a matter of time.
“Because people are isolated and don't have access to things they normally do,” she said.
But Sellers stresses that shouldn't include access to a therapist.
“Calling from home and might be a pet snuggling up to them during a session. Pretty open and more forthcoming about their concerns,” she said.