5 Reasons How Mental Health Apps Can Boost Wellbeing : Good health may be seen as good wealth, but most people have been unable to strike it rich. This is because a majority of our population suffer from poor psychological and social well-being which has influenced the way they feel, think and act while making choices in times of stress.
The entry of mental health apps to the market has opened up exciting possibilities for solving these issues and boosting well-being. This has turned out to be a boon for mental healthcare patients, as getting hold of a good mental health app that can grasp all the psychological components is not so easy.
The virtual therapy apps not only help in monitoring signs of mental health, but sometimes even show the way to adjunctive treatments. Just as some apps are developed to help keep mood swings in check, others offer ways to improve well-being through therapy motivating lessons, and exercises.
So, what kind of app would be right for people struggling with mental well-being challenges? To understand how to access a feature-rich mental health application, we first need to know a bit more about these apps.
Types of mental health apps
- General mental health apps: These are basically designed to monitor emotional health through relaxation guides and exercises. What’s Up is the leading example.
- Educative apps: They help in providing material to identify mental health disorders.
- Dedicated mental health apps: Patients suffering from anxiety, depression and schizophrenia can benefit from these apps. The leading online therapy sites offer a combination of talk therapy and psychiatric care.
- Self-improvement apps: These apps adopt breathing exercises, meditation and audio relaxation to improve mental health.
- Treatment monitoring apps: They use a journal to record the individual’s feelings and recognize the patterns which can avoid a crisis.
- Peer connection apps: Sharing mental health issues with peers to come out of poor mental health.
The pros and cons of virtual therapy
In recent years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of mental health apps available for mobile users. While only some of these apps are free, others are reasonably priced, but all offer a wealth of information to make therapeutic techniques portable, thereby offering easy accessibility to those who are struggling with mental health problems, but cannot afford traditional therapy.
Although there can be no substitute for consulting a doctor or therapist physically, a user in no time can download an endless number of apps that can address everything from obsessive-compulsive disorders to improving well-being and much more.
This is due to the fact that a mental health app has the potential to reach any person who would have otherwise been unable to receive help by removing the barriers associated with the treatment.
Another plus-point for using a smartphone-based app is the anonymity they provide. These apps are perfect for those seeking privacy and are too ashamed to admit their mental issues to others for fear of being stigmatised. The confidentiality these apps provide will help users find answers to their health questions in the comfort of their private space.
Some mental health professionals are however critical of their use as against seeking treatment from a traditional therapist. They can be a supplement for those needing therapy, but they cannot replace the role of engaging with a healthcare provider who can interpret health insights that an app cannot.
Again, a vast majority of these apps do not have the required peer research to support their claims, though they still continue to play a critical role in the future of virtual healthcare.
Users are showing increased confidence in digital health tools and their effectiveness when it comes to tackling mental health issues and improving well-being. Here are five ways digital tools can be incorporated to improve these issues:
Drive changes in behaviour
Unhealthy habits, such as poor work-life balance, inordinate sleep patterns, leading a sedentary lifestyle and catastrophizing are some of the main reasons for mental health issues.
Well-being apps, which provide habit-tracking and goal-oriented tools can help individuals to identify their underlying issues that are causing anxiety and stress. Some may suggest spending less time on social media, while others may ask to go out for a day or hit the bed early if it is impacting their emotional health.
Apps monitor progress
Since the nature of these digital tools is driven by data, it can allow people to monitor the progress of their health with the help of the in-built health assessment technology. In other words, people will be able to actually see whether they are getting better or worse.
The built-in safeguarding tool will encourage a person who needs further support to contact a GP or a counselor, so they can speak to them about their feelings.
Meets the burden of unmet needs
The reluctance of people to seek support from primary healthcare providers as a result of the pandemic has raised a substantial burden of unmet needs. Wellbeing apps allow people to access CBT, which can go a long way to help people recover from mild anxiety and depression.
Source of tailored support
Digital tools allow information and support tailored for each individual based on current needs. An employer, for example, can make mental health support for the employees much more diverse and inclusive. Anonymous real time data can be used, instead of lengthy surveys, to let the workforce know if they are facing any mental health issues.
Help build relationships
A relationship app can help couples to express their emotions appropriately by taking off the burden of the more emotional partner. There are a handful of apps available that not only find a partner for you, but also show the way to make the relationship last. Couples who have used these valuable tools have been successful in navigating the murkiness arising from long-term relationships.
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