Mental Health, Therapy, and the Internet
The internet has done wonders connecting us. This newfound digital prosperity is starting to give us new ways to explore and support our mental health.
The interest for mental health continues to grow, driven by shared stories of personal struggle. What used to be kept in the dark is surfacing, and being met with overwhelming support. There is a collective movement to address what used to be a stigmatized topic.
The rise of healthcare consumerism is driven by higher expectations of what our technology can do for us. We can see that there are a rising number of mindfulness tools and online therapies are available to anyone with an internet connection. People are increasingly turning to the internet to cope with their mental anxieties because we can participate in a virtual community that conveniently supports us wherever we are. Location and proximity are no longer a barrier.
Whereas traditional therapy may be harder for people access, people can now plug into an online therapy program from their smartphones when they’re on the go, the comfort of their homes, or anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This is a fundamental shift from the way we used to think about health. Consumer expectations from other industries have trickled into healthcare; we want personalization, access, and control where we are, whenever we want.
And with more and more celebrities openly talking about their mental health struggles and using their platforms to share personal experiences, this is opening up awareness and normalizing individual challenges with mental health. Public figures are influential in changing mass perception, and the embrace of mental health is changing it from a once taboo subject into a necessary topic of discourse. The discussions normalize the anxiety we feel but doesn’t accept that we should keep feeling this way.
Of course, the efficacy of digital tools will have to be tested to prove its impact. But technological progress is exponential. Progress will be gradual, and then perfected.
New ways of thinking about our mental health are emerging. A paradigm shift in mindset is starting to take hold. We’re on the path to more meaningful lives, driven by advancements in technology. The most important thing is that we start where we are today.
At the next HTF Common Good Conference on May 14- 15, we’ll be exploring the theme of behavioral health and look at some of the most innovative companies working to support mental health.