How Technology can Help with your Mental Health
Often the internet gets a bad rap when it comes to mental health and, admittedly, as technology has evolved it has brought with it some unforeseen hurdles. It’s important that we recognise this is a by-product of progress, and that we must also evolve in order to combat these challenges.
Over the years, many tools for combating and managing mental health have come to fruition, providing sufferers with immediate support with little more than a click required to gain access. In today’s post, we’ll shed some light on these channels and promote conversation and sharing amongst users. If you know of a website, app or other avenue that we don’t touch on in this post, we encourage you to share them within the comments.
Ongoing support at your fingertips
Let’s start with apps. They’re easy to download and, once installed to your device, allow you to have easy and ongoing access. The first one we’re going to look at is Smiling Mind, developed by psychologists and targeted at adolescents. The app aims to help young people learn about mindfulness and meditation. With new features added daily uniquely constructed to help various age groups, this app is an incredibly valuable and versatile resource. It’s also free.
Another free favourite of ours, this time targeted at individuals of all ages, is Beyond Blue’s The Check-in app. Created to help friends and family approach the topic of mental illness with loved ones, the app offers users four simple steps towards better communication, including tips on timing, method and things to consider. Finally there’s Breathe by ReachOut. Focussed on providing users with breathing techniques for reducing the physical symptoms of stress, this app is particularly helpful for those amongst us that suffer from differing levels of anxiety.
Help is but a click away
Help can also be found in the form of websites, providing vital online support for individuals of all ages and walks of life with access to a computer. Some websites, that you may or may not already be familiar with, include the Black Dog Institute, Mental Health Online, beyondblue and Reach Out. All of these sites provide visitors with crucial information, tools and support for maintaining a healthy state of mind. Some New Zealand developers even went as far as creating an online game that has been proven to be as effective as face-to-face therapy in clinical trials called Sparx. Respect.
Sometimes you really just need to talk to a third party who has no personal ties – we get it. This poses a problem for those who struggle getting to a professional, or sharing their thoughts and emotions face-to-face. If this is the case for you, there are numerous hotlines and chatrooms you can utilise that guarantee complete anonymity:
Click through to chatroom | Phone: 1300 22 4636
Click through to chatroom | Phone: 13 11 14
Click through to chatroom | Phone: 1800 55 1800
Whatever avenue you decide suits your distinct needs, it’s important you know you’re not alone and that there is an abundance of support at your disposable online or otherwise. From the team here at WME to our readers, look after yourself and each other.