Fairview Partner Cynthia Tseng interviews Dr. Erica Shirley, Clinical Psychologist at Howard University to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on mental wellness. The confluence of physical illness, social isolation, and economic downturn can increase incidences of depression and anxiety. While society bands together to flatten the spread of COVID 19, there is an equally urgent need to flatten and mitigate the harmful effects of prolonged exposure to stress, anxiety, and social isolation. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, behavioral health / wellness-focused technology companies are proving their value-add to our healthcare infrastructure. At Fairview, we believe these technologies will continue to show their worth after this crisis has passed and investments here will play an even greater role in society and the economy going forward. In this interview, Dr. Shirley shares her insights on grief, coping techniques, de-stigmatization of mental illnesses, and telemedicine.
Select clips and the full interview can be found below.
Dr. Erica Shirley is a Clinical Psychologist at Howard University. She works with all enrolled Howard University students, addressing depression, anxiety, academic concerns, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychotic breaks. Dr. Shirley also has a private practice, where she works with a wider age range of individuals.
Why are we seeing so many medical professionals calling for early mental health intervention during this pandemic?
Can you help us understand why so many of us are dealing with different stages of grief, and what these stages entail?
Being home, what can we do to cope? What are some things we can do for friends or family members who need our support right now?
In Fairview’s portfolio, we are seeing an uptick in technology companies working on mental wellness issues. On the consumer side, we have a company called Woebot who provides virtual services, and Calm, providing guided meditation and sleep. What is your view on virtual therapists and mental health applications? What are some merits and concerns with these platforms?
Do you think society is starting to de-stigmatize mental illnesses? Do you see this in your practice?
How effective do you think tech-enabled mental wellness services are?
Watch the complete interview here: