Mental illness affects one out of every four individuals in the world, according to statistics. Even though most countries’ public health strategies involve an organized attempt to promote mental health, many individuals do not seek professional help.
Luckily, we can change this situation with the use of digital technologies. There is optimism that by addressing issues in a more innovative way, a more significant number of individuals will be willing to get the assistance they need.
Digital technology is quickly becoming an integral part of our daily routines. While there is a fear that technology overuse is escalating the problem, it could also offer a great chance to improve our response to mental health.
Innovation in Mental Health Practices
Technology provides a chance to address mental health issues across the world. The excitement about the endless possibilities has sparked a wave of software creation, with hundreds of mental health applications now accessible.
Below are the most prevalent mental health technologies, ranging from applications that provide free professional counseling to portable headphones that cure chronic anxiety and devices that assess emotional wellness.
If you happen to browse your mobile device, you might have seen a handful of software that claims to improve your mood for the day. Each software created by various organizations primarily offers to make you feel better by focusing on six different states of consciousness. These include confidence, happiness, and concentration.
These are devices that measure breathing to give individuals more control over their physical and mental status. It is wearable and can be attached to any clothing the user wants, and continuously keep track of their breathing patterns and heart rate. Some advanced versions are available in discreet sizes and have a longer battery life that could last up to a year.
There are smart cubes in specific workplaces that monitor the health and well-being of employees. These contain sensors for monitoring existing workplace conditions. The devices are compact enough to fit on top of a regular desk.
It collects valuable data such as room temperature, light intensity, humidity, noise, and air quality. The device transmits these data on a cloud-based server, where it undergoes further analysis to identify trouble spots in the location. Office managers can use this device to improve the working environment and resolve other problems depending on the needs of their employees.
Field Response Programs
The co-responders are certified mental health professionals who work in close collaboration with the police department. They respond to emergencies involving individuals who have psychiatric disorders and existing drug abuse problems.
Often, emergencies prompt for quick access to services. According to research and analysis, the earlier support services are accessible, the better the chances of treating mental health problems. That’s why a co-responder program plays a critical role in these situations. Doing so helps officers to evaluate the individual who is having a mental health crisis.
Virtual Mental Health Counseling
Private institutions are offering applications to provide virtual access to certified psychologists and psychiatrists. It is open for workers and students of participating businesses and schools. The chat-based software includes a twenty-four-hour service that allows callers to seek assistance at any time of the day. These are often in collaboration with association-affiliated therapists and counselors.
The software encourages users to call therapists about daily stressors before it becomes mental health emergencies. It also encourages regular check-ins and assignments in an attempt to implement mental well-being into a lifestyle.
Many health-tech firms are continuously working on alternative therapy for depression. A new device in the market is a medical-grade headphone that helps stimulate the brain. It incorporates elements of neuroscience and technology in a single device.
The headgear sends out mild electric pulses into the patient’s brain, explicitly targeting the depression-affected region. It is a direct stimulation method that attempts to alter the brain in particular areas over time.
With so many innovative practices at hand, there are particular contradictory advice and confusion. More so, we still know so little about the actual efficacy of the above methods. The necessity for further regulation in such a delicate area is recognized, and the industry has a long way to go before it develops. We’re just getting started with mental health and wellness innovation.
Nonetheless, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health treatment. Everyone is different, including our minds and bodies. It isn’t to say that addressing mental health issues shouldn’t be a priority. It simply means that we must put out our best effort to assist in any manner feasible. Those trying to fight mental health problems and promote awareness can perhaps find inspiration in the above ideas.