Introduction: It’s no secret that mental health is a big issue among young people today. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 adolescents aged 13–18 years has a mental illness. Given these statistics, it’s clear that something needs to be done to help young people cope with their mental health issues. Fortunately, technology is one tool that is proving to be very effective in helping young people improve their mental health. Here are three ways technology is helping:
- Connecting them with professional help: In the past, if a young person was struggling with their mental health, they might not have had anyone to talk to about it. But now, there are many websites and apps (e.g., 7 Cups, TalkSpace) that allow young people to connect with professional counselors who can help them work through their problems. This is a great way for young people to get the help they need without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.
- Helping them track their moods: There are many apps (e.g., Moodpath, Pacifica) that allow users to track their moods on a daily basis. This can be helpful for two reasons: first, it can help users identify patterns in their moods (e.g., feeling more anxious on Mondays), and second, it can provide them with a sense of accomplishment when they see how much their mood has improved over time.
- Allowing them to share their story: For many young people, talking about their mental health issues can be very difficult. But there are now many platforms (e.g., The Mighty, My Depression Story) that allow users to share their stories anonymously. This can be incredibly helpful for two reasons: first, it allows users to get things off their chest that they might not feel comfortable sharing with others; and second, it allows them to see that they’re not alone in what they’re going through. Reading stories from others who have been through similar experiences can be very comforting and empowering.
Technology has come a long way in recent years, and it’s now being used to help improve the mental health of young people in a variety of ways. From connecting them with professional help to allowing them to share their stories anonymously, technology is proving to be a valuable tool in the fight against mental illness.