How is Technology Helping Enhance the need for Mental Health?
How many times would have a person, who is dealing with depression or extreme stress, thought of visiting a friend or family member without the fear of being typecasted as a “mentally unstable” person? Mental health is a sensitive issue with which various stigmas are attached. People do not want to discuss the problems as they feel doing so might result in ridicule or them losing people they love. Technology has become an aid in times like these when some of the people find it more reliable than human beings.
What is Mental Health?
In a layman’s language, mental health is the overall wellbeing of the brain and the way it performs to carry out the everyday tasks. If we look at the scientific language, mental health is involved one’s social, emotional and psychological well-being. Both the definitions point to the same meaning of how a person feels, thinks and acts in his/her everyday life. According to a report released by WHO, 7.5% of the Indian suffer from a minor or major mental disorder that requires immediate attention. At present, 56 million Indians suffer from depression while 38 million suffer from anxiety disorders.
Technology- A Helping Hand
With 4.5% of India’s population suffering from depression, the numbers give way to so many questions which remain unanswered. It is not just the numbers that raise eyebrows but also the question marks attached to these numbers, asking what could be the reason for so many people not reaching out for help. The main reason is the stigma attached to the whole discussion about mental health which has made many individuals take the problems silently. Technology has provided people with apps and devices which are like wearing life-saving jackets in a stormy sea.
The Various Options
Technology has worked as a boon for the mental health industry. With so many applications which are focusing on mental health, people have found a new ‘ear to hear’ their problems. From keeping a tab of your breath to providing motivational and inspirational quotes when you wake up in the morning, technology has given way to many innovations which are proving to be beneficial for the mankind. Some of the apps in the market to help customers out are Breathe2Relax, Pacifica, Headspace, Relax Melodies, MindShift, Recovery Record, Worry Watch and many others.
Stress arises when an individual is faced with a change of any kind, whether physical or psychological. It can lead to depression when the individual's actions may not result in desired outcomes in the face of this change. Often times stress results in social isolation, a situation that can contribute to depression and is also a common symptom of this condition, in a vicious cycle. Mental health is as important as physical health, if not more! The adage "A healthy mind in a healthy body" cannot be truer, in today's fast-changing society. Mental health is important in order to achieve life goals starting from education, relationships to professional satisfaction and growth. The need of the hour is to find ways to identify and address one's mental health needs. While educating one's self about mental health and mental illness through reliable sources, both offline and online, is important, it is equally important to approach a mental health professional such as a psychologist or a psychiatrist to discuss problems before they become unmanageable, says Prashant Banerjee, Pearson Clinical & Talent Assessment (PCTA).
Mental health is a topic which not everyone wants to openly talk about. Depression has reached its maximum with a total of 322 million people dealing with it around the globe. Though the issue is sensitive, initiatives are being taken by many brands and government organisations to tackle the problem and bring it under control. According to me, people should learn to open about what all situations and problems they are facing and should involve their near and dear ones they trust to take appropriate actions before it gets too late. A healthy and happy mind resides in a healthy body and the first step towards it starts from the decisions we make.