It took a great deal of time for humankind to learn that mental well-being is equally important as the physical well-being of a person. Where ten years back, the subject of mental health was stigmatized and ignored, now it has become a huge frontier in the health industry. According to me, technology has played the utmost important role to bring awareness among the general public regarding the importance of mental health and the requirement of a separate field of science for it in medical care. Today, technology plays an important role in treating mental health problems. A person may not be able to speak to a therapist or counsellor, but he/she is willing to open up to a mental health support app.

Even if the significance of mental health awareness among the masses is present, the amount of it is not sufficient. Researchers have indicated that mental health would be a huge problem for healthcare & society by 2030. This is where technology comes into the picture, devices like mobiles, tablets, laptops can give researchers, doctors and the population different ways to access help, monitor progress and increase understanding and importance of mental health. These devices provide a helping hand to the healthcare  industry for treating mental health problems and grasping their patient’s trust making it effective. 

Recent advances have indicated that channelling technology for greater use in the field of mental health care is the way forward and here are some trends in health technology that will give us practical solutions to this problem:

Artificial Intelligence

Uses of artificial intelligence in mental health services can be implemented by smart algorithms that assist clinicians with early detection and diagnosis of mental health issues, flagging suicide attempts, and other algorithms that help patients control their conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or any other mental illness by therapy, counselling or just being there for them 

Virtual Reality

VR-enabled therapy is psychological therapy using virtual reality technology. Patients move through digitally generated environments and perform specially designed activities customised to manage a particular disorder. There are individuals whose mental disorder is due to or linked to a specific fear or event related to that fear . For example, Fear of flight, fear of driving, etc., so here VR comes to the rescue and can be very helpful by introducing people to what they fear in a virtual world is a brilliant way to help them conquer their fear and thus facilitate better mental wellbeing.

Big Data

Through combining and analysing massive data sets, scientists and doctors may find trends within the data that would otherwise have been more difficult to spot. Machine learning can then be used to classify and link biological causes, various signs and medical causes of various health conditions to create a more precise diagnosis and treatment plan. With the advent of big data, mental health treatment software now has access to vast chunks of consumer behaviour data that can be very useful in studying and improving mental health treatment technology solutions, but the bottom line is that the more people use the technology, the more they are able to access better data.

Social Media

We can already see the huge influence of social media to raise awareness and visibility of mental illness just as other diseases are images, Instagram features such as reels, storeys, Facebook group community, LinkedIn community, etc. are just a few of the different features of social media that are commonly used in a connected way to help people understand the manifestations, triggers, significance and most importantly the need to address mental health issues.       

Mental Health apps

The Biggest coordinator of Mental Health these days. Apps in Mobile phones for mental wellbeing can be very simple but successful. For starters, anyone capable of sending a text message may contact a crisis centre. You can also bundle new technology into an incredibly advanced smartphone or tablet app. Such apps may use the built-in sensors of the computer to gather information on the activity patterns typical of a user. If the app senses a behavioural shift it will send a warning that support is needed before a crisis occurs. Some applications are stand-alone programmes that offer memory or the ability to think better. Others help the user relate to a health care provider or a peer counsellor.   

We have certainly come a long way in terms of mental illness awareness, value and care but we still have several barriers to cross where technology is and will continue to help us make it more successful and impactful than ever before.