Mental and Behavioural Health Care in a Post-Pandemic World:
Emergent Needs and New Challenges for Service Delivery
Barry L. Jackson, Ph.D.
Vice President, Osteo Re School of Osteopathy.
Professor and Director Emeritus,
The Drug, Alcohol and Wellness Network
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.
Fulbright Senior Scholar, Addiction Specialist.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented many challenges to the provision of physical health care services. It also offered opportunities to explore and expand new delivery service options. Virtual service delivery and distance medicine, once reserved for remote and inaccessible areas became commonplace. Such service provided the health care industry, the providers and the patients with some advantages. Health care providers could use their time more efficiently, reduce cost, decrease exposure to infectious disease, and reach isolate communities. All of which are inducements to continue virtual medicine. But what were the non-monetary costs? And what were the impacts felt by both patients and health care providers? This talk examines the mental and behavioural impacts and the
professional and societal implications of expanding virtual service delivery.
Topics for discussion include: comparison of recovery rates between virtual and real service provision, increases in suicide and addiction rates in the community, new skill sets required for virtual medicine, and staff needs for mental health interventions after the emotional and physical demands endured during the pandemic.