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Mental Health Tools: From Office To Pocket
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Whoopty
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Whoopty,
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9/11/2014 | 12:40:50 PM
Not a bad plan
From my own dealings with those with mental health issues, one of the hardest things to do is to get them out of the house and go to a doctor, so being able to handle some of the busy work associated with the condition(s) remotely is a pretty good plan. 

The only real issue I can see arising though is an even bigger emphasis on conveyor belt medicine, where the important thing is seeing as many people as possible, who of course are much easier to "see" when you can have an app do half the work for you. 

I already feel a lot of apathy at my local doctor's surgery. Not sure I like the idea of it becoming even less of a personal interaction. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
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9/11/2014 | 12:52:54 PM
Re: Not a bad plan
I hope some of these tools are viewed as complementary, not replacements, to in-person consultations -- although telehealth, for physical and/or mental health conditions, can be (I believe) equally good as in-person visits, when patient and provider establish a relationship and the caring is equal to that found during an in-office visit. If someone who needs help continuosly puts it off because they're "too busy," or a psychologist is "too far away," or any of the other excuses we can all come up with, then telehealth would be ideal. Also, many residents live far, far away from easy access to counselors, psyschologists, or psychiatrists, or have conditions that won't allow them to leave the house easily. 

Like you, I've had several people in my life who've dealt with various mental health issues. Anything, no matter how big or small, that can help them combat depression, eating disorders, suicidal feelings, panic attacks, or other issues is a plus in my book -- as long as privacy is respected.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
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9/11/2014 | 1:49:51 PM
Re: Not a bad plan
Done well, mobile tools and services could eliminate some of the stigma some people feel visiting mental health professionals in person. If privacy is respected, this does seem to be an area where mobile could truly help with an important healthcare issue.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
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9/11/2014 | 2:10:23 PM
Re: Not a bad plan
I agree, Laurie. You'd think too, apps and the immediacy of telehealth solutions (if appropriately staffed) can help resolve the crisis often associated with some mental health conditions because they could help people immediately start addressing the condition. Of course, there are some terrific live resources available to people in crisis, but mobile apps and other tech tools might also help those who feel -- for whatever reason -- unable to reach out to a licensed health professional in-person, at least until they get to the point of getting that professional assistance. 
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
9/11/2014 | 4:10:47 PM
Re: Not a bad plan
Isn't the biggest obstacle just the individual recognizing that he or she needs help (enough to install an app or take any other positive action)?
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
9/11/2014 | 6:06:21 PM
Re: Not a bad plan
The biggest barrier for someone with mental health issues is taking those first steps to get help. The immediacy and intimacy of a mobile app makes it easier. It could help them get a quick diagnosis and connect them with similar people digitally without it being public. The challenge is then making the transition to get the necessary in-person help. But there's no question tech can smooth that transition.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
9/11/2014 | 9:14:32 PM
Re: Not a bad plan
 It could help them get a quick diagnosis

Agreed, Shane. I just wonder how quick it can be--especially for something as serious as Bipolar Disorder.  I haven't tested any of the apps, but I wonder how many "normal" or mentally stable people choose "mental" answers--or answer the questions and then they get a borderline response.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
9/13/2014 | 11:10:45 AM
Re: Not a bad plan
@David. I agree. If the person with mental health accepts that they have a problem, they will be more likely to use an idea.  I would think if someone thinks they do not have a problemn they would not see a need to monitor their mood on a regular basis.  Would future health care professionals recommend such apps to their patients and monitor their mental health prior to a session?
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
9/15/2014 | 12:11:33 PM
Re: Not a bad plan
I cannot answer whether medical professionals would recommend these apps, but have seen stats that say general practitioners are the first line of defense for 70% of mental health cases. If some of those GPs recommend a patient sees a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional, perhaps an app could help until the specialist's appointment?
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
9/11/2014 | 9:02:36 PM
yearly spike
 In 2010, 38,364 people committed suicide

In the US, I believe the stat has been that the majority of suicides happen over the Holiday Season, so November-January and the demographic skews older. But I heard that stat a long time ago--may have changed since then.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
9/15/2014 | 10:45:31 AM
Re: yearly spike
It's a myth that more people commit suicide at the holidays, according to the CDC. Actually, fewer suicides occur in December -- the rate peaks in spring and fall. Unfortunately, about half the articles about suicide continue to propogate that myth, the CDC found.

http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/suicide/holiday.html

 

 
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
9/15/2014 | 11:26:58 AM
Re: yearly spike
Thank you, Alison_Diana for setting the record straight! I had heard the stat decades ago, and assumed it was due to people being alone at holiday time.
geektechTX
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geektechTX,
User Rank: Guru
9/14/2014 | 2:32:44 PM
technology tools are stepping stones but helping comes forms of being nice in the digital domain
I live with mental disorder .. i am not dumb or  just crazy i been in technology 15 years or longer with training ..the tools help but getting rigth support groups and people to help and vent and get your frustrastrations out .many years ago i found meetup.com connected with other bipolar and depressed people it became an bonding moments this was before apps or smartphones ..i have 4 companies , started 2 of them in my near senior of high school dealing with bullies in technology work is daily fight and fighting people that think your ideas are too way beyond them ...remember all these tools ,apps , websites , services make it easier but mostly onlinec culture now days the usually intelligent people suffer from mental stigma ..envirormental and genes ..

because i live with a disorder for 15 years now my own demeons ..just best prevention online or real world is to be nice people with disablities and developement mental disablities ..i just survived two Overdoses in hospital and Cardiac arrest 3 months ago i shouldnt be here ..

 

if a guy or women is mad online be nice to them send them an gift or offer to find help for them usually the mean people are huriing online . 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
9/15/2014 | 10:43:06 AM
Re: technology tools are stepping stones but helping comes forms of being nice in the digital domain
Sadly, people can be extremely cruel online, @geektech, so I wouldn't think open, online groups are necessarily the best place to feel accepted or get support unless they are heavily moderated and overseen, perhaps by those trainied in counseling people with mental health conditions? As I wrote in the article, I don't believe technology replaces healthcare professionals and/or medication in all cases (probably not in many cases), but some of these apps and solutions appear to complement or provide a first line of defense for those who need assistance. Hopefully society is improving the way it understands those with mental health issues, realizing people are not "dumb or crazy." Like any other condition, it's something certain people have, certain people don't, and fortunately we do have treatments for some conditions. Unfortunately, we don't have good treatments for others. And it can be difficult to get the right treatments to the right patients. 

Congratulations on all your successes, @geektechTX. And wishing you many, many more.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
10/2/2014 | 2:49:08 PM
Re: technology tools are stepping stones but helping comes forms of being nice in the digital domain
Unfortunately, we don't have good treatments for others. 

Yes, and some of the side effects of medications are detrimental and some are very annoying. I know a person who suffers from bipolar disorder and the medication makes her hungry and thirsty. So she's constantly on a diet and she avoids taking the meds so she won't crave food.


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