We all know someone facing mental health challenges. That isn’t an idle platitude, but a near-certain statistical probability. For example, as many as one in four Brits suffer from mental health-related issues in some form. Mental illness is a huge aspect of modern life, and it is time that we met it with modern technology.
That is the thinking, at least, behind some in the tech and mental health communities. With the development of apps geared towards helping those battling depression, a new era in mental health treatment may be dawning.
The Role of Social Media
It is no secret that social media has reshaped the world in which we live, and mental health is no exception. Whether you spend just a few minutes online or hours, you are receiving constant feedback from others on your life as well as being compelled to compare your status to theirs. When everyone puts their best, most artificial selfie face forward online, that can leave those struggling with depression with the false impression that everyone is happy but them.
What’s more, social media and texting have produced a culture where constant and immediate communication is the norm. When that’s absent, that can exacerbate the already-pernicious nature of social isolation for those struggling with depression.
Mental Wellness Apps
That’s why mental wellness apps are looking to address that issue with bots who are capable of responding to those struggling with depression around the clock. Apps such as Flow are capable of engaging those struggling with depression by having them put questions to bots with pre-programmed answers. What’s more, Flow is also capable of offering wellness advice on a wide range of topics.
At present, the app can take you through 18 total sessions of distinct “treatment” based on your responses to Flow’s questions. While Flow obviously cannot tell if you are depressed, it can tell you what to do to combat the symptoms you are facing – and that’s a start.
In today’s app- and social media-dominated world, isn’t it about time we made mental health treatment smarter and more tech-savvy?