Technology has its good side and its bad side. People like us love the constantly evolving world of tech startups, with new innovations surmounting our expectations all the time. We wait for the newest devices, keeping track of any news that is leaked or released. However, technology has a darker place in other people’s lives.
Many feel like phones are ruining their relationships (and human relationships in general). They can keep us distracted so that we don’t find the need to deal with our feelings until it’s too late.
Furthermore, the internet can sometimes feel like a dangerous place. Trolls do their best to shame anyone who differs from them. Hackers can steal our identities (another reason to use a VPN – find the best Android VPN or iPhone VPN to stay safe). Even behind locked doors, we’re never safe anymore.
But certain tech startups are doing their best to improve mental health access. They’re changing the mental health landscape in increasingly brilliant ways.
Here are some examples of tech startups changing the mental health landscape.
If you’ve ever watched any media about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you’ll know that exposure therapy is one of the most common ways to treat it. Those who suffer from PTSD have difficulties learning to separate a situation from the trauma that accompanied it. By gradually being exposed to the situation over and over again, they can finally disassociate it from the trauma.
But it’s not always easy to recreate the situation. And taking the first step can be incredibly difficult for sufferers. That’s where Limbix steps in. This mental health startup creates VR headsets that generate a simulation for PTSD sufferers. This gives them a safe and convenient space to practice exposure. While PTSD is one of its core focuses, other mental illnesses are under the Limbix microscope as well.
There are many startups getting involved in teletherapy. The concept is simple: some of the main factors keeping people from seeking help are cost, access, and stigma. By making therapy available in the comfort of your own home, these are no longer the obstacles they once were. Therapy can be provided at a far lower cost, without clients having to go into an office.
Some of the top teletherapy companies include Talkspace, Breakthrough, and India’s own PsyInnovations.
This is a surprising addition to the list, because the concept is so simple. Woebot is an online therapy robot that uses Facebook Messenger to impart nuggets of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The reason it’s so surprising is that there’s no futuristic technology involved. Woebot uses immaculately crafted but set scripts without much (if any) machine learning. Nonetheless, this Stanford creation has been shown to have an impact in just two weeks.
This is one of the advantages of CBT. It’s incredibly simple, and sometimes all it takes to get results is a guiding force nudging a person to use its techniques. Woebot does just that. It checks in every day with a series of questions and, according to your responses, helps you recraft distorted thoughts. You can even try it for a free two week trial.