There is some really excellent analysis in the article below. It shows just how far we have come when it comes to having better conversations about mental health, accepting that mental health struggles are common and reducing, though not eliminating, stigma. But, those things also shine a brighter light on the areas we are failing in, like having enough resources to meet the needs, and this one big shortcoming that we have, that maybe technology can help with?
We need to step up our prevention and mitigation game
If technology can help people before the onset of a mental health crisis, that would be a significant help — because right now, we’re not doing so great in the department of prevention.
Think about it. You go to the doctor for check-ups. After a certain age you go to get cancer screenings, or have things like your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar checked to try and prevent disease or at least detect things very early when they are more treatable. You go to the dentist for cleanings and exams. You go to an eye doctor for an eye exam. You do all of these things before there’s even a sign of trouble because that’s how you take care of your health.
Granted, as the quote points out, we aren’t very good about doing those things, but those resources exist and we could take advantage of them, and we all accept that people should.
When was the last time you had a check-up with a therapist to check in on your mental health? Yeah, we don’t even know how to do that. Mental health treatment, when it’s available, only comes into play in response to a problem. Figuring out how to prevent those problems, or diagnose those problems earlier, would go a long way toward needing fewer emergency mental health services. It’s worth looking into, for sure.