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Mental health professionals still seeing many patients during COVID-19 pandemic

A licensed psychologist says it's because of a few reasons.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — There are two things just about all of us need in our lives.

"One is predictability and the other is control," said licensed psychologist Amy Beth Taublieb.  

A pandemic removes both.

As a result, Taublieb says more people needed to talk to professionals. But even as more people get vaccinated and restrictions are eased across the country, mental health professionals are still busy.

"We're getting back to more of what we would call a 'normal way of living.' Because we've been living the way we have for the past several months, going back to the 'normal' involves yet another major life adjustment for all of us," Taublieb said. 

She says part of it is because more mental health professionals are having face-to-face meetings again. 

Then while some people are happy to head back to work soon, others don't want to go back to the office. So they're getting anxiety. 

"There's a very surprisingly, large proportion of individuals who fit that category," Taublieb said. 

So with such a high demand of patients, how easy or hard is it to get an appointment? Taublieb says it all depends on how often professionals make themselves available to patients.

She says facilities operating on a sliding scale, who only charge people by what they can pay instead of taking health insurance, tend to never have open appointments. 

"From what I'm hearing, those places are very, very, very booked way in advance and there is a difficult time in many of these places to get an appointment within a reasonable period of time," Taublieb said. 

Taublieb says you should see someone if feelings last for a long time, which interferes with how you interact with others or your daily functioning. However, sometimes, they're just normal feelings everyone has. 

"The first thing people need to do is remind themselves is that what they're feeling is perfectly natural, normal and healthy. You don't need to seek professional help because of this," Taublieb said. "Change breeds discontentment. Accept your feelings and don't be so darn hard on yourself."