1. Learn About Mental Health

When we’re growing up, many of us aren’t taught what to look for when it comes to mental health challenges. It’s not like there’s a dedicated class in school that teaches us about this topic, especially since it’s still somewhat taboo in our culture. Fortunately, technology makes it possible for just about anyone to go online and learn more. You can look up the symptoms of anxiety to see whether they sound similar to your own experience, or understand more about the biological factors that can contribute to issues like depression. The internet is a great place to educate yourself about mental health conditions— just make sure you’re getting your information from reputable sources.

2. Find a Supportive Community

Some people don’t have access to local support groups, or they’re too nervous to attend in person due to persistent mental health stigma. Going online opens up a whole new world where it’s relatively easy to discover a community of people who understand your experiences and can offer useful mental health advice. Use online support groups or forums to find safe spaces where you can connect with other people.

3. Try a Wearable Device

Wearable devices are a tech innovation which has largely been focused on physical health. However, tracking certain physical activities can have surprising benefits for mental health. For example, someone with a smart watch might be able to monitor their heart rate and notice when anxiety is setting in. An individual with depression could use a sleep tracker in order to see just how much rest they’re actually getting each night. Having trackable data is a great way for patients and therapists to see what’s going on and adjust treatments as needed.

4. Use Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) therapy is one of the newer treatments being used for mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and phobias. A therapist can have their patient wear a VR headset to immerse them in a virtual world and allow them to confront their fears in a controlled environment. This might include acting out real-life scenarios they’re anxious about in an effort to teach the patient certain skills, reduce their fears, and boost their confidence. Or they might revisit a past event in order to process the emotions surrounding it. VR can be a therapeutic tool that helps someone make significant progress in their treatment.

5. Attend Therapy Remotely

Telehealth visits became much more common during the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, it became abundantly clear that the option to attend therapy remotely offers important benefits for patients struggling with their mental health. It can improve access to mental health services for those in underserved areas as well as people who would otherwise need to take time off work or arrange and pay for childcare in order to attend appointments. Teletherapy can also minimize the delays which occur when people end up on waiting lists for in-person appointments. Plus, it’s a helpful option for those who are facing mental health stigma and don’t feel comfortable going into a therapist’s office.

Of course, in-person appointments may be needed to make certain types of mental health assessments, and some patients may simply feel more comfortable talking face to face. But for many, this technological advancement has been a game changer when it comes to their mental health.

6. Access Mental Health Treatments

Managing a mental health condition can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re also trying to deal with symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, or difficulty concentrating. In these situations, technology can make treatment management much less overwhelming. For example, the Done app makes it easy to schedule appointments, coordinate medication refills, track symptoms, and get direct support from licensed clinicians, all from your smartphone. In this way, technology is truly making treatment more accessible. When someone doesn’t have to deal with tedious tasks like scheduling appointments and making trips to the pharmacy, it’s much easier for them to focus on what’s most important: improving their mental health.

There are also apps which can help people improve their mental wellness or overcome certain symptoms associated with their mental health condition. For example, meditation apps can be helpful for practicing mindfulness and reducing stress. Some people even use calming game apps to relieve their anxiety. Despite the negative impact that some social media apps can have, there are just as many which can be beneficial for those dealing with mental health conditions.