Every smartphone owner has access to dozens, if not hundreds, of mental health apps. They are accessible with a quick search for keywords like “anxiety” or “mental health,” and they often claims to be able to gauge or improve a person’s mental health. Do these apps actually work? Can they serve as a cure for poor mental health in Singapore?
The Progression of Self-Help
Dr Rebecca Grist works at Bath University, as part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Group. She recently completed a study of mental health apps and their effectiveness. According to Dr Grist, these apps are a natural product of the technology-focused modern age. Just as there was a dramatic increase in the availability of self-help books a few decades ago, so there is now a surge in self-help apps.
“Apps are a logical step in the evolution of ‘self-help’ materials,” says Dr Grist. “I would suggest the rise of the apps is due to a combination of advancements in smartphone technology and smartphones becoming more accessible to people over time.”
Benefits of Mental Health Apps
Psychiatrists in Singapore and elsewhere in the world view these apps with a mixture of optimism and suspicion. They come with a mixture of benefits and dangers, especially to those with undiagnosed mental health issues.
According to statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO), about a quarter of the world’s population will be impacted by mental health problems for some length of time during their lives. Of those billions of affected individuals, nearly two-thirds will never seek treatment for their mental health issues. Some will refuse treatment out of fear of social stigma, while others simply do not have a psychiatrist or psychologist nearby.
Some mental health experts hope that mental health apps can fill in where the mental health system is unable to serve. A mental health app could assist someone who is too nervous to see a psychiatrist, particularly if it is well-designed and offers cognitive behavioural therapy or art therapy in Singapore. If no clinics are easily accessible in a particular area, people suffering from anxiety or depression may find support through an app.
Dangers of Mental Health Apps
While the apps may aid an underserved segment of the population, they can also provide a false sense of security. Not all the apps are well-designed or helpful. Many of them have never been tested or validated using scientific methods and clinical studies. In fact, psychiatrists in Singapore are concerned that some of the apps may do more harm than good. Dr John Mann, a professor and psychiatrist at Columbia University, insists that these apps should be tested before they are put to use. “When we test the benefits of a drug treatments, we usually ask for two well-designed studies to prove their benefits,” he explains. “There is no reason while apps should be held to different standards.”
Mental Health Support from a Real Psychiatrist in Singapore
If you are struggling with a mental health issue, you may find it helpful to explore a few of the well-known, effective mental health apps. However, keep in mind that an app can never replace the personalised help and rich experience of your psychiatrist in Singapore. For real and lasting help with your mental health, contact Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic, and we will match you up one of our caring, skilled professionals.
News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic
Source: Living it News, (n.d.)