Mental health awareness month shines a light on the different web and app applications available to help manage mental health challenges.
With October being mental health awareness month in South Africa, we thought we’d explore how modern tech is helping to treat and understand mental health. Like most life issues, many people turn to the internet and tech for answers, and mental health is no different. Whether it is a fear of stigma or access to mental health professionals, many patients are turning to tech to help understand and solve a wide array of mental health conditions.
In recognition of mental health awareness month, we’re looking at how tech is helping to ease the often-debilitating effects of mental health conditions on people in South Africa and across the globe.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have opted to transition from in-person therapy to E-therapy. A quick search on google or a variety of sponsored content will yield a plethora of options for those who are suffering from mental health issues.
Services like BetterHealth, iCounseling, and Larkr have seen a massive spike in popularity and have shown to be effective in helping with various conditions such as depression, anxiety, mental health, addictions, and trauma.
For many people, the thought of speaking to another person about mental health afflictions is enough of a barrier to entry, to stop them from seeking health.
With the massive rise and innovations in AI and machine learning, chatbots can lend an ear and help people discuss their issues without fear of judgment and repercussions. Even your voice assistant has the potential to help give advice and help ease anxiety.
Telling Alexa, Siri, or Google that you’re lonely leads to a response. Alexa gives hints and tips; talk to a friend, go for a walk, and Google tells you it’s there for you. Hearing a familiar voice (even if it is digital) is often enough to ease issues and help manage situations.
As many people have retreated into a very reclusive world with social interactions being mostly limited to online discourse, having a digital ear to listen to you could be massively beneficial.
We’ve become dependent on apps to solve all our daily issues, from shopping to banking, so it should come as no surprise that mental health-focused apps are helping millions of users live better, happier lives.
The most popular iteration of mental health-focused apps is mediation based, with apps like Calm and Headspace recruiting a-list celebrities to help guide you on your spiritual journey. From guided meditations to sleep stories these applications have become part of many people’s daily routines and there is no sign of them slowing down. With mainstream adaptation, these apps have cemented themselves in the mainstream and as a result, helped millions on the way.
For those looking to innovate and create, this is a very popular product and service industry to consider for new software development or tech solutions. But for now, if you or someone you know are suffering from mental health issues or you want to learn how you can support those in need, contact The South African Depression and Anxiety Group at www.sadag.co.za or call their 24-hour helpline at 0800 456 789.