When the Covid-19 pandemic forced Pari Baker, a clinical social worker and therapist in rural Bath County, Virginia, to switch to seeing clients over video in April, she wasn’t sure how it would go. She’d never worked with clients that way before; the small hospital in the Allegheny Mountains where she works didn’t offer it.
But after she started seeing her clients online, bad weather and transportation snafus were suddenly no longer issues. No-show rates for appointments plummeted. She also got new clients living in the surrounding communities, which have historically been underserved by mental health care.