The Pandemic of 2020 and the Mental Health Crisis

Asha Tarry, Life Coach

For many years before the pandemic of 2020, professional adults have sought therapy. Millennials—those born between 1980-2000—have set the path of self-development on fire with their openness to learning and growing beyond the daily, somewhat normal uncertainties of adulthood. However, during the pandemic, mental health clinicians and hospitals experienced something they’d never experienced quite like this—an incredible wave of newcomers with heightened anxiety, depression and trauma all at the same time. Quite honestly, it overwhelmed nearly everyone. But, before we start to create headlines for all the reasons why we weren’t prepared for this I implore you to look at therapy in a less crisis-oriented way and consider a few ideas for this new era of somewhat post-COVID awakening should you decide you want to give a hand at psychotherapy:

What to Look for When Seeking a Therapist

    1. Is this person located in the country and state in which you currently reside?

    2. Does this person hold a license, or a certificate under supervision to provide professional counseling, analysis, psychotherapy or some other type of healing modality (e.g. ministry or hypnosis)?

    3. Does this person continually train or seek professional development in their specific specialty especially if you are dealing with an area of your health that requires specialized care such as an eating condition, PTSD, or a history of self-harm or suicide attempts?

    4. Has this person worked with any other intersections that may be important to you such as Muslim and queer, Black and same-gender-loving or MSM (man who sleeps with men) or 1st generation and English as a 2nd language, or Latinx and a Jehovah’s Witness?

    5. Is this provider capable of taking on new patients based on their current clientele and hours of availability?

    6. Do they offer early morning, late evening, or weekend hours if you have scheduling limitations?

    7. Does the therapist accept insurance, or are they out of network, only accepts cash or credit card payments and how do they expect to be paid and when?

    8. Does the therapist offer a hybrid of treatment settings, for example is the therapist doing remote work only, or would they like you to come in person for the initial evaluation, or have session part of the time in office and part of the time remote?

    9. Does the provider allow texts from you when they are out of the office, and for what reasons?

    10. How does the therapist handle work emergencies especially as it’s pertaining to your scheduled appointment—what’s their cancellation policy and are there any exceptions?

That may seem like a lot to inquire, but you don’t have to ask all of these questions at once. You may want to select a couple that you can search the answers to by way of their profile from provider directions or their website. You can save a couple for the consultation and thereafter. If you think it’ll help ground you in finding the right provider at first to meet your needs, make a list of what’s most important for you to know.

These are different times we’re living in, and my guess is that most people are still figuring out what will work best for them, including therapists so be curious, do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, this is the person you will be sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings with as you also begin to learn a lot about yourself and the way they work with you. You don’t have to be in crisis either to start therapy. This may be the time to work through some of your professional plans, or relationship loneliness, or family or work transitions.

If we can learn anything from these past 16 months, hopefully it’s how we want to design and experience a life well lived.

Until next time Village, drop a note, send me an update on how you’re doing and of course, tell a friend to tell 5 friends to subscribe to the blog. This month is especially important. It’s Mental Health Awareness Month for POC (aka Minority Mental Health Awareness Month) so there’ll be lots of tips on how to create healthy mental and emotional habits, routines, relationships and rituals.


*This blog is about becoming free. It’s a reflection of introspective thoughts and experiences that have crossed miles of self-discovery. I created this blog to inspire others to live life with less self-criticism, judgment and openness to new experiences. May you find that you learn how to live a life by design and on your own terms!*

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