Face to FaceTime Therapy –
April 9, 2020 – There are now also even fewer in-person treatment options for some of the most acutely mentally ill in New York, Muskin says; the psychiatric wards at Columbia, where Muskin normally works, have all been converted to beds for COVID-19 patients. Thousands of new COVID-19 patients are terrified and lonely. Their families cannot sit bedside to hold their hand, and overworked doctors and nurses have little time to offer comfort. In the most agonizing situations, families of the sickest face the possibility of death without a goodbye.
“That means,” he says, “we have no place to send patients who need admission.” Some of Columbia’s patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder who were most in need of hospitalization when the storm of COVID-19 cases hit, were transferred to the very limited number of other inpatient facilities, Muskin says. Others were discharged to return home — which often means families are left struggling to help their loved one manage their mental health symptoms and medications. Muskin, who, at 72 is at increased risk if he gets COVID-19, now sees his clients — outpatient and inpatient — remotely, from his home.