Over the years, the healthcare industry has shown immense interest in leveraging technology to treat patients better. Ultimately, it’s made it easier to break through the stigma surrounding mental health and how one can seek treatment for it. With the pandemic leaving everyone uncertain and skeptical, the need for proper mental health care is essential.
Since we’re spending an unprecedented amount of time at home, our only means of staying connected is through technology. It’s safe to say that technology is keeping us sane at this sensitive point in our lives. To offer further insight into how technology helps treat mental health issues, here are 5 ways you can boost your mental health.
Apps Designed To Monitor and Relieve Mental Health Issues
Mobile applications are the go-to thing of the decade. Given the widespread use of cell phones, it is not surprising that there is a mobile application for everything. From games to personal productivity management and from cooking to cleaning, there is an app for everyone.
Hence, it is not shocking that apps are also being created to help people with mental health issues. They’ve been incredibly helpful and reliable during the covid-19 pandemic. As people cannot leave their houses because of quarantine, these apps provide the assistance they need to enhance their mental health in the comforts of their own homes. Some of them are listed below:
This app is suitable for people of all ages. It mainly focuses on stress relief, meditation, and sleep. It aims to help people with bad sleeping habits, lower their stress levels, and helps them with self-awareness. One of its more prominent features is that it provides informative tips for reducing stress and suggests music and sounds, enabling the user to sleep better.
This app’s primary goal is to allow a person to focus on their emotional well-being by having the liberty to choose which areas to focus on, such as building their self-esteem and overcoming negative thoughts. It helps them keep track of their progress and promotes self–awareness, thereby improving their quality of life. Despite the app not being free, it allows family and sharing and can support up to 6 different users.
This is an app that is appropriate for the ages of 4 and above. This app helps a person meditate, check-in on their mood, and offer multiple programs designed to target different groups of people. Created by psychologists to promote compassion and happiness, the app helps to promote an overall good feeling. There are sessions organized for adults and children alike, focusing on mindfulness in classrooms, workplaces, and sports programs. This app is available on the App store.
Pick Up the Phone
Technology has made it easier for people to remain in contact even though they can’t be physically present around each other. Due to higher risks of infection, older adults are suggested to be quarantined separately. This means they’re more vulnerable to experiencing anxiety and depression symptoms as they spend so much time alone. This is where technology comes in to play the part; apps like Zoom, Skype, and Google hangouts enable us to connect with our elderly relatives and loved ones when we can’t meet them in person.
It makes it easier for us to check on them regularly and ensure that they’re doing okay. As a result, this helps to keep their mental health in-check and reduces any negative emotions they might experience at the time.
Chatbots and Voice Assistants: Talking To Techs in Crisis
To continue to respond to healthcare needs and prevent or slow the spread of covid-19, hospitals and other health institutions are also including aid from telehealth and other digital health care techs to provide care immediately. Various intelligent conversational agents and virtual assistants, such as Chatbots and voice assistants, have been used to deliver healthcare information, monitor symptoms of all kinds of illnesses, and prevent exposure. An example of this is, ‘Ellie’ is an AI therapist developed by the USC Institution for Creative Technologies as part of a project called SimSensei. ‘She’ is designed to perform sympathetic gestures and monitor people’s facial expressions, which helps it develop a bond and understanding. This helps the assistant provide better treatment and offer support to reluctant individuals to reach out to a friend or a therapist.
Improved Treatment of Mental Health with Telehealth
Besides the innovation of mental health apps and virtual assistants, there is a notable rise in telehealth in the medical industry. With this technology, therapists can virtually treat patients and prescribe remedies without needing the patient to be present in person. This is also quite convenient for individuals who aren’t comfortable or commute to a clinic to receive treatment for their disorder.
Patients can converse with their doctors over the phone or via video link; whatever is the more accessible option for them. People appreciate this form of liberty, and it helps them develop an honest connection and bond with their specialists. An added bonus is that these online sessions are also much affordable than in-person meetings, which also draws people to book more online appointments. With a wide range of video-conferencing tools available, it’s pretty easy to get in touch with an online therapist and start your healing process.
Internet Support Groups
Internet support groups can help people who have trouble finding the time or have difficulty speaking about their problems in public. The majority of the online support groups give their participants a choice to remain anonymous so that they can feel comfortable talking about their issues, such as depression or traumatic events, without fear of being identified. They mostly keep the option to have their conversations through texts only, which helps retain the participant’s confidentiality.
Technology has helped advocate a change in the treatment of mental health issues. Anxiety and depression have become increasingly prevalent in teenagers and young adults. This is where mental health-tracking apps and telehealth can offer many benefits to help individuals diagnose symptoms and manage their conditions. Technology gives people the freedom and accessibility to seek treatment at their own pace while also learning more about their behaviors and actions during an episode.