As technology becomes more advanced, we’re able to help ourselves and others more than ever before. Healthcare, in particular, has skyrocketed in developments thanks to advances in technology, letting professionals care for illnesses that were otherwise untreatable before. It’s not just physical illnesses that technology is helping—innovation has allowed technology to help those with mental illnesses be treated better. Here are a few ways technology has made mental health treatment better.
Though there are fewer apps dedicated to mental health than physical health, those that do exist are great for those who need help. Out of the roughly 800 apps devoted to mental health, each one has its own ways of helping users cope with the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Users can share their stories with those going through similar issues on some, while others offer calming, repetitive actions that users can follow to relieve anxiety symptoms. These apps also provide useful data to physicians, therapists, and other healthcare professionals through collected data.
Apps are also available for those struggling with addiction. There are several dedicated to helping those who suffer from alcoholism, with each app giving users ways to stay sober. Others can connect users with mental health professionals when they can’t reach their therapists, while others still keep track of medications, how much alcohol has been consumed, and visualization exercises.
The internet gives people the amazing ability to connect with those around the world—perfect for those who aren’t comfortable seeking help from support groups in their hometown. Internet-based support groups offer alternatives to in-person ones in a person’s hometown, letting them have the support that comes from attending support groups while staying comfortable and anonymous. This is great for those who are more comfortable speaking about their struggles without having their name or face attached to said struggles. Some of these sites also offer educational resources and courses led by mental health professionals.
Telehealth has become increasingly popular these days. Having a healthcare professional available via phone or video call is actually fantastic for those needing mental health treatment: it’s less costly, helps patients feel more comfortable than being in an office, and improves accessibility for those who can’t or won’t see a professional in person. Video calls, in particular, are better than regular phone calls, as it fosters human connection more effectively than audio calls do.