Phones are no longer used to simply call someone. Gone are the days of the phone cord and the common landline – nowadays we wander about with handheld computers. Sleeker, slimmer, but what about… happier?
The rapid increase and constant innovations of different technological software also increased usage of within the community. And while this is sometimes spoken about negatively – it is important to know how this accessibility can be used to help us. The internet, for all its faults, can actually be a great tool in dealing with mental health in young adults – arguably the largest consumers. Furthermore, this group is also one of the largest in terms of mental health issues.
Internet Use And Mental Health – Let’s Talk About It
Young adults have the reputation of being on their phones 24/7, using all kinds of social media to interact with their friends whether they’re far away or standing in front of them. However, more screen time also means more information is consumed every day. Information on various mental health topics is essential in helping destigmatize mental health issues, pushing young adults to act. Barriers that had been erected for years of stigma around mental health from previous generations are gradually being torn down, promoting, and encouraging discussions out of private and into the public surrounding this important issue.
This is the first step in being able to seek help – discussion.
But that is, discussion through promotion and vocalisation via the internet. Rather than publicly seeking out support, this alternative route is a far more comfortable one for young adults. Additionally, mental health articles and social media posts provide another way to talk about mental health. On top of their educational purposes, these articles and posts create a great starting point for insightful discussions.
The Convenience Of Health Apps
Recently, evidence suggested that e-health interventions can assist mental health issues. These manifest in the form of convenient apps accessible through the click of a button. With these apps, the users are able to decide when and where to use it. This provides them with a discrete means of access to mental health advice, creating a safe space for those who prefer to have privacy. E-health interventions can also be quite helpful in increasing access to treatment in remote areas as distance should not be a barrier to accessing necessary support.
Oftentimes, seeking advice and help can be the hardest step. However, with e-health apps, discrete, quick, and reliable resources can become easily available within a matter of seconds.
The Communicative Community
The online mental health community is growing rapidly. The initiation of chat rooms, Instagram pages, or podcasts are just a few of the great ways to get informed and stay connected. There is a great level of personal relevance one can experience through absorbing stories about mental health experienced by others online. Hearing the context of other people’s journeys, their trial, and tribulations, and fundamentally, their success stories also provide the users with a wider perspective on how to manage one’s mental wellbeing.
It’s also a helpful to not view mental health as one massive, all-encompassing word. It is something that can take many shapes and forms. Severity may vary between each person, but everyone has their own valid struggles. Ultimately, this transparency creates a new form of understanding within the community.
Ultimately, technology can help tackle mental health issues in three main ways.
- It allows for the increase in information available to the public, opening various discussions about mental health.
- Technology and the internet provide a ground for the creation of accessible apps that can assist young adults in a variety of ways.
- Finally, the online community provides a safe space where adolescents can be transparent in their experiences with mental health, helping them overcome and break down the remaining walls built by stigma and fear.