The emergency declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic may end on May 11, depending on the specific policies and guidelines of each country or region. However, the mental health needs of individuals affected by the pandemic are likely to continue long after the official declaration ends.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant stress and uncertainty for many people, including social isolation, financial difficulties, and concerns about health and safety. These stressors can take a toll on mental health, leading to symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
While the end of the pandemic may bring some relief, it is important to recognize that the mental health impacts of the pandemic may be long-lasting. Therefore, it is essential to continue to prioritize mental health care and support, both for those who have been directly affected by the pandemic and for the general population.
This can include accessing mental health services, practicing self-care strategies such as mindfulness and exercise, and seeking support from friends, family, or mental health professionals as needed. By taking steps to address their mental health, individuals can promote their overall well-being and resilience in the face of ongoing challenges.
Mental Health America’s 2023 ranking of states in terms of higher access to mental health care shows Massachusetts continues in a top position. The Commonwealth, which has made access a priority through its recent creation of Community Behavioral Health Centers, ranks second as it did in 2022 in terms of such markers as access to insurance, treatment and quality and cost of insurance.
Lack of affordability and lack of access are consistently among the barriers cited in seeking mental health care so it is good to see the state maintain its ranking on access in comparison to other states. Massachusetts, through its Roadmap for Behavioral Health Reform is working to reduce these barriers, and we here at MiraVista are proud that our opening nearly two years ago in the middle of the pandemic created additional inpatient psychiatric beds in the state for both adults and youth, as well as expanded inpatient treatment for substance use.
Still, the need for increased mental health services – and the funding to support them – to meet demand continues both in the state and nationally.
The pandemic brought attention to the existing gaps in mental health services and has spurred efforts to address them. It is crucial to recognize that the need for mental health support and resources continues to exist post-pandemic, and individuals should be encouraged to seek help and support whenever necessary.
Our experienced clinicians deliver patient-centered and evidence-based care, helping those with mental health and substance use conditions to find their road to recovery in order to life a fulfilling life. MiraVista is available to help with inquiries and accepts both commercial and MassHealth insurance and no one in need of services is denied based on ability to pay.
For more information on MiraVista’s psychiatric services, visit https://www.miravistabhc.care/
To hear Dr. Beheshti’s recent interview with George O’Brien, Editor of BusinessWest, please click the link below.
BusinessTalk with Dr. Negar Beheshti, chief medical officer for MiraVista Behavioral Health Center
Dr. Negar Beheshti, MD is the Chief Medical officer for MiraVista Behavioral Health Center in Holyoke, Mass and its sister hospital, TaraVista Behavioral Health Centers located in Devens, Mass. Dr. Beheshti received her medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. She is Board Certified in both General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She received her general psychiatry training in Minnesota and her child and adolescent sub-specialty training at Children’s Hospital Boston, where in both programs she served as Chief Resident during her last year of training. After her residency, Dr. Beheshti worked at the University of Massachusetts, Department of Psychiatry for nearly 10 years where she held various leadership positions including Chief of Clinical Services for the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department Quality Officer, Medical Director of the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Emergency Mental Health and Consultation/Liaison Services, as well as the Department’s Physician and Staff Engagement Champion.