BALTIMORE (WJZ) — While most people’s focus is on COVID, there are other health issues to still consider, including mental health. Many health providers are doing what they can to make seeing a doctor as easy as possible.

Telehealth visits have become increasingly popular during the pandemic, allowing people to go see a doctor without leaving their home.

Dr. Pinar Miski, director of psychiatric services at St. Agnes Hospital said even under normal circumstances, it can be difficult to see a mental health provider.

“Just because there aren’t a lot of mental health providers, period,” Dr. Miski said.

Pair that with the ongoing pandemic and the challenge only grows.

“It’s been difficult because offices have had to shut down due to lack of PPE in the past year. Also, patient reluctance, I think, to go into physical offices due to concerns of contracting COVID,” Dr. Miski said.

It’s for these reasons that Dr. Miski said they have added mental health providers to Ascension Online Care.

“There will be things we are just not comfortable discussing with the family. Maybe you feel like your family is burdened enough and you don’t want them feeling like they need to be your therapist so that’s a very legitimate reason to reach out to you with the therapists,” Dr. Miski said.

For those with underlying psychiatric issues, you can schedule a virtual appointment with a psychiatrist.

“For those individuals that are feeling like they can’t sleep, they don’t have an appetite, they have physical symptoms. Perhaps they might potentially benefit from medication management to manage the symptoms they can see an actual psychiatrist virtually who could then prescribe the medication as well,”

Whatever issues someone may be facing, Dr. Miski recommends taking care of them before it gets to a crisis point.

“If you suspect that you’re kind of going downhill for whatever reason definitely reach out see kelp nobody should feel like they’re alone even though we might be socially isolated you’re still connected to others whether you realize it or not and please get the help that you need,” Dr. Miski said.

These online visits are available seven days a week and are usually covered by insurance.

Sean Streicher