Our Behavioral Health Predictions for 2021

Though 2020 brought us many unexpected trials and challenges, it also gave people some things to be grateful for. One example of this is a renewed focus on health and well-being. The pandemic taught us about the need to follow expert guidelines from the CDC to avoid spreading illness in our communities. It also forced many industries to adapt, including the behavioral health field. Here are the emerging trends we expect to continue.

1. Increased Use of Teletherapy

With shelter-at-home restrictions limiting people’s ability to visit their care providers in person, teletherapy began picking up momentum, and it shows no signs of stopping. Though the concept of teletherapy has been around for a long time, 2020 was the year it exploded in popularity. The fact that teletherapy is as effective as in-person counseling for many clients has caused people to connect with their behavioral health specialists through technology, broadening access to care.

2. Less Stigma Associated With Needing Counseling

Many people sought therapy for the first time in 2020 to help them identify healthy strategies for coping with pandemic-related stress. Unfortunately, some people still struggle to accept the concept of pursuing mental health treatment, despite its well-documented benefits. As a society, we need to continue normalizing the idea of going to therapy. You can be part of the solution by openly talking about your journey and sharing things you’ve learned while getting care for issues like anxiety, depression and PTSD. 

3. More Emphasis on Holistic Treatments

Another silver lining of this pandemic has been more time and space to slow down, look inward and reevaluate what you value most. As we continue to deepen our understanding of the connection between mental and physical well-being, we’ll gain a greater appreciation of the benefits of combining counseling with complementary approaches like yoga and meditation. These time-tested practices have an astounding array of mental health benefits, so incorporating them into a holistic behavioral health treatment approach makes perfect sense. 

4. The “Mental Fitness” Trend Will Gather Momentum

While you may pay close attention to your physical fitness through exercising regularly, how much time do you spend on keeping your mind in fighting shape? Mental fitness refers to the concept of training your brain to be more resilient and agile. People who deliberately carve out time and space for mental exercise are better at being present and aware in the moment. They also retain more memories and enjoy less stress. In 2021, we anticipate more people will start appreciating that it’s possible to work on emotional fitness the same way they devote effort to keeping their bodies healthy.

Prioritizing Your Mental Health in 2021

The arrival of two approved vaccines has provided a much-needed ray of hope in these challenging circumstances. As we look ahead to the next chapter of the pandemic’s effects on our daily lives, we can anticipate a return to normalcy, but we shouldn’t forget the valuable lessons we learned along the way. If you have received a diagnosis of a mental health disorder such as depression, PTSD or schizophrenia, please reach out to us at Serene Behavioral Health to learn more about our levels of care.

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