Mental health has always been something of a taboo subject. That continues to change, and the modern age is seeing far more tolerance and widespread acceptance of many mental health issues. Partly this is due to the rise of internet communities of like-minded people, and partly it’s due to better access to mental health information. Technology has become the best tool in the fight for mental health acceptance, and is also being used to tackle the issues directly. As technology continues to advance, so too will our responses to the most common mental health challenges. From online message boards to virtual reality, here’s how our relationship with mental health is being challenged and revolutionized.
Virtual Health Care
Virtual Reality is better than ever, and is being used for more than PlayStation games. This cutting-edge technology is becoming a much more common sight in a tech-savvy culture, and the health benefits are becoming fully realized. For mental health issues, VR has many applications. Companies like Oxford VR are using immersive virtual reality technologies to explore coping strategies for those with extreme phobias, psychosis, and even social anxiety. As the technology continues to develop, more uses of VR in mental health treatment are being developed, and virtual reality could be the next big leap in automated mental health therapies.
Support through Discussion Boards
One of the most positive outcomes of widespread internet use is the establishment of communities. These online communities are beneficial for a number of reasons. The main ones affecting our relationship to mental health are:
- A louder voice: Being alone usually means being overlooked by those in power. That silence can be a huge factor in making mental health issues even worse. Online communities allow those facing similar challenges to come together and fight for change. Discussion boards allow mental health sufferers to work together and discuss widespread issues that can then be turned into online campaigns for awareness raising.
- Support: Having the right support when you’re struggling through a difficult time can be a life-saver. As more people connect with others affected by mental health problems, they find the support and advice that they need to get them through the most challenging periods.
Better Mental Health Apps
Sometimes it seems as if there’s an app for everything. That’s not a bad thing. Having the right app on your phone gives you immediate access to the help that you need when struggling with mental health. The following apps are at the forefront of mental health care:
- 7 Cup – Link with trained therapists for real-time sessions, or join the chat groups when you need more informal support.
- RR – Some of the most common mental health issues are eating disorders, and the RR app can help via cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and self-monitoring research.
- SuperBetter – This app turns mental health treatment into a challenging game. While addressing the fact that mental health is a serious matter, it also adopts the look and design of an online game, complete with mental health challenges and rewards when completing a task.
Mental health continues to be a major factor for many, but the best technologies are addressing the biggest problems. As technology continues to evolve and become more integrated into our daily lives, it could be the key to managing and dealing with daily life while coping with any number of mental health issues.