It’s true that music helps people deal with difficult situations and even get healing from traumatic events. But, too often, those who create the music, including songwriters and composers, often suffer from poor health, including mental illness.
One of the reasons for this is the lack of access to affordable and quality healthcare. And this is not confined to people in the music industry but to the wider society. A World Bank report in 2017 found that at least 400 million people, especially from rural areas, do not have suitable access to basic healthcare services. In the United States, lack of health insurance is a significant reason for many not having access to healthcare, followed by a shortage of healthcare professionals in many rural areas.
When it comes on to mental health, statistics show that over 20% of American adults seeking treatment for mental illness reported unmet treatment needs.
In light of the recently-observed National Healthcare Quality Week, it’s an opportune time to examine the importance of access to healthcare services. First, let’s take a look at what having access to quality healthcare services means. According to the Access to Healthcare in America report, which was published in 1993, access to healthcare is defined as “the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best possible health outcomes.”
Another way to look at it is that access to healthcare services helps to prevent the spread of diseases, fosters good health, and saves lives. In addition, it promotes productivity in the workplace, and also at home, and helps people stay happy and feel good about themselves.
So, how can access to healthcare be improved? A number of initiatives are currently underway in many countries. In some areas, extended stay clinics in so-called frontier communities have been established to assist people with serious health conditions, who cannot be immediately taken to a hospital due to poor infrastructure or bad weather. Another strategy is where hospitals in rural areas have been partnering with healthcare networks and larger hospitals that have more resources, in an attempt to expand their own resources and capacity to assist people with ill health.
There is also a push by some communities to boost the healthcare workforce, whether by offering incentives to attract doctors and other healthcare professionals to areas that have a shortage or by investing in attracting more students to the healthcare field.
Yet another solution to improving quality healthcare access has been the rise in telehealth services around the world. This involves the use of telecommunications technologies, especially the internet, to offer care and assistance to people with ill health.
People with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, for instance, now have the chance to go online and receive therapy from qualified therapists through websites that make it possible. An online therapy website called BetterHelp is one such platform that has emerged in recent times, allowing people who need quality and affordable mental healthcare to gain access at their own convenience. It’s easy for someone with internet access to easily connect with trained specialists via their mobile devices, laptops, or even by telephone.
That way, patients can stay in the comfort of their homes and get help without having to worry about traveling for miles to see a specialist. As you can probably imagine, this is especially helpful to those living in rural areas or people who have a fear of getting help (maybe because of stigma often attached some illnesses).
While this method of delivering healthcare can’t fully replace conventional methods (physically visiting the doctor), it is surely a good complement. If you’re facing challenges with receiving proper healthcare, mentally or otherwise, it is highly recommended that you try online therapy.
Disclaimer: Please note that the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Tunedly.