Can Tech And Apps Together Become The First Aid For Mental Health?

By      17-Sep 2019       Read Time: 6 Mins

Can Tech And Apps Together Become The First Aid For Mental Health?

As per World Health Organisation report 2018, with at least 6.5% of the population is suffering from some form of serious mental disorder, India is the most depressed country in the world.

Who would have thought that smartphone apps can actually help you cope with anxiety and depression?

IIT alumni brought technology into mental health and founded organisations like YourDost, MoodCafe and 1to1help.net.

IITs entrepreneurs are coming up with unique initiatives to reach out to a population which not only includes teenagers, youngsters but middle-aged males and females as well- who are more vulnerable to suicide. This idea came up in their minds is because they all have been in a phase where they have been in depression, stress and even suicide to some point. This was an important factor that inspired them to set up related ventures.

And, what is common in these founders is that they have all seen stress, depression, and even suicide at close quarters during their IIT’s days– a factor that inspired them to set up ventures in this space.

These apps not only help people by making them feel better that there’s someone to talk with them and to share things with them. These apps contain questions and stories which help the person develop a sense of security and belongingness. These apps allow users to cope with symptoms by sharing their stories, and complete calming with repetitive responses and actions. This improves their perception and outlook towards life by adding positivity to it.

These apps not only offer online counselling sessions but also provide offline therapy that helps a person face the challenge while recovering from mental stress.

Not only can mental health apps benefit patients, but they can also provide useful data to physicians, therapists, and health care informatics experts. Many of these apps focus specifically on depression and anxiety-related disorders. Far fewer mental health apps exist as compared to apps devoted to physical health.

Almost around 36% people are likely to suffer from a mental health ailment at some point in their lives and more than 7 million Indians affected by depression, the chances of mental apps are more likely to pop up.

Make yourself work on your mental health:

It is important to be there for yourself. Here are a few lifestyle interventions which you can adopt before seeking help from these apps and tech:

  • Feed your body with the right kind of food. Eat a handful of nuts and seeds, berries and greens.
  • Follow a regular fitness regime and go for a walk regularly since exercising reduces the level of stress hormone and promotes the release of happy hormones.
  • Watch out your mental/work pressure by taking 10-15 minutes break and practising desk exercising.
  • No matter how late you are running for the work, don’t miss out on your meals and especially breakfast.
  • Talk to a friend or acquaintance or visit an old pal or relative. This will help you feel supported and keep negative thoughts at a bay.

There is a stigma in our society for illness and stress related to mental health but more than that there is also a sense of cynicism and lack of clarity among society about the importance of mental health. We have to understand that creating awareness is an important aspect and should be supported by all of us.

Takeaway

While it’s a sign of technological progression, it might be ironical to know that technology could actually become an alternative to human bonding, warmth and connection. Mental health technology may lag behind some real-time advancement in physiological health; the technology is gaining momentum nonetheless. But, make sure to use these apps as an adjunct to the real physical bonding and connect and not as a replacement!
 

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