According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 25% of Americans experience a mental health disorder in a year. In addition, the World Health Organization reports that nearly 450 million people of all ages suffer from some form of mental illness. If you have a mental illness, it’s important that you can access mental health resources in a timely, confidential manner. With the ubiquity of smartphones, the rise of social media and the development of online support groups, people suffering from mental illness have unprecedented access to information and support.
As technology advances, it has become easier to access mental health services. Thanks to mobile apps and online resources, people are able to get help in a way that used to be difficult. Some services are free, while others are not, but often the costs for the services are covered by insurance. When seeking treatment, it is important to research the professionals you’re considering and make sure they have a good reputation, since finding the right fit can make all the difference in the treatment
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to stay home for long periods of time, things have changed in the world of mental health. Remote working and learning have become a reality for most people, and for many, mental health problems have begun to increase. Levels of stress, anxiety and depression have increased and it has become clear that adjustments are needed to meet the needs of the population. That’s where technology comes in.
In the past decade, rapid technological advances have helped people deal with mental health issues. Virtual consultation services, such as those offered by MyTherapist, have become an increasingly popular and affordable option. There is still a lot of work to be done, but these technological advances are proving to be useful to many people.
New mobile health applications
While there are many more apps that focus on physical health, such as nutrition and exercise, there is a growing number of apps that focus solely on mental health. These apps calm the user down, help them meditate, remind them of their affirmations, etc. There are even apps that help people with addiction problems. These are great tools to track your progress, for use between therapy sessions, and for use when you just need a pick-me-up at any time of the day or night.
If a therapist cannot be present at all hours of the day and night, applications can. Attachments should not always be used as a substitute for therapy. Some mental illnesses require more help and treatment than others, so it depends on the individual. Fortunately, you can participate in therapy and use these applications at the same time. There is no such thing as too much help.
Previously, people seeking advice had to drive to the site and meet the advisor in person. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. Patients can easily register online and get in touch with their advisor within seconds. This can be ideal for people with busy schedules, as many consultants will schedule an appointment with you early in the morning or late in the evening. Depending on what you are looking for, chats, phone calls and video calls are all possible.
If you prefer not to show your face at first, you can choose to communicate live or on the phone. Virtual counseling removes barriers, such as not having a car to get to the counselor’s office or not having a work or life plan to stick to. Even if you prefer to talk to a counsellor in private, this is a good option if you suddenly change your mind.
Online support groups
Support groups used to only meet in person, but now many are online. This is a good option for those who do not live near a town with a support group. This saves them the time and expense of long trips and is generally more convenient. It is also a good option for people who suffer from social anxiety or who do not like large groups. Online meetings can create a more intimate group atmosphere, and you can withdraw if you feel uncomfortable. You can even turn off the microphone or hide the screen, whichever is more convenient for you.
Getting help for mental health problems is never easy, and the cost is certainly not helpful. In fact, it is often a deterrent when people are considering seeking help. They wonder if they have the means, and especially the money, to pay for the services. As a result, many never receive the care and treatment they need. However, with the development of many new applications, it is easier than ever to get cheap help. Many applications are free, and the paid ones are often relatively inexpensive.
While a person used to have to physically visit a therapist, these free apps can now offer help to people suffering from any type of mental illness. Of course, these applications do not replace therapy. However, they are an excellent option for people who do not have access to appropriate resources and can serve as a backup until help is available. Cost should never be the reason you don’t seek help. You can always find a way to get medical care, so try not to get discouraged and keep asking until you are satisfied with the care you are getting.
Overall, the technological improvements we see today have greatly improved access to mental health services. These services can range from therapy to inpatient or outpatient care, etc. Technology will continue to evolve, as will resources and access to them.
Technology is age neutral (although some may lack knowledge), so everyone benefits from these improvements. The barriers that used to hold people back are quickly disappearing, and that’s worth noting. Hopefully, the status of mental health will change and the overall number of people with mental health problems will decrease. In any case, it’s good to know that more is being done to improve everyone’s well-being.
Biography of Marie Miguel
Marie Miguel has been an expert author and researcher on a variety of health and wellness topics for nearly a decade. She is currently collaborating on the expansion and development of
, a free online mental health resource at MyTherapist.com. With an interest in addressing the stigma associated with mental health
, she continues to focus on issues related to anxiety and depression.
This source has been very much helpful in doing our research. Read more about mental health technology innovations and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How has technology improved mental health?
Modern technology has provided us with new ways to help improve our mental health. For example, digital health monitoring is an effective tool for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Digital therapy, which is similar to traditional face-to-face therapy, is also proving to be beneficial for the treatment of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Technology has come a long way since the 70s, 80s, and 90s. It has advanced in ways that people never imagined, and just a few decades ago it was almost unheard of to talk about “electronic music” or “computer graphics.” Now, though, we hear about electronic music every now and then, and graphics are everywhere. How has technology improved mental health? That’s a good question. It’s a question that’s hard to answer honestly. Many people use technology as a crutch to soothe their illnesses, and talking to a psychologist is probably the best way to go. That said, technology is a big part of mental illness, and often times is used to treat it or help it. For example
Is technology good for your mental health?
It’s no secret that technology today has become practically essential to our everyday lives. We rely on it to keep in touch with our friends and families, to make our days run smoother, and even to help us find our way around unfamiliar cities. Most of us wouldn’t even want to imagine what it would be like to live without our iPhones and computers. But what role does technology play in your mental health? Some people use it for support, as an outlet, or to help them manage their symptoms (sometimes even replacing in-person therapy). Others have found its impact on our generation to be less than positive, worrying about the negative effects of technology on our attention spans and social skills. Technology has permeated our lives. For some, it has become a source of anxiety and depression, but for others, it has transformed our lives for the better. The accessibility of technology has paved the way for a global community of support, and allowed for easier communication at the click of a button.
How do you increase access to mental health services?
With the help of online therapy, anyone can receive treatment without having to leave home. With an internet connection, people can speak to a therapist from the comfort of their own home via video chat, text messaging, or messaging apps. As convenient as this seems, though, not everyone has access to this type of care. The World Health Organization estimates that only 17% of the world’s population has access to mental health care services. The world is full of apps that are meant to help with mental health. Some have been the forefront of technological innovation in mental health care. Others are not so much. But, what is the best way to keep track of them? A new app, called “Mental Health Tracker” (let’s call it “MHT”) was recently launched to do just that. The app lets people keep track of apps, games, and other forms of mental health resources. Some of its features are:
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