Mental Health and Technology

Mental Health and Technology

As we turn more to our technology, research is showing that our cell phones, tablets and technology may be leading to an increase in depression and anxiety.  It can also lead to a loss of sleep from the impact of blue light on our sleep chemicals 2-3 hours before bed.  Technology can also be helpful in being able to access new resources for our mental health.   This blog provides a list of some of the applications that can assist in improving your mental health.  We would like to hear from you about other applications you are finding helpful so we can develop a resource list for our readers.  If we are going to use technology, let’s use it for our mental health improvements!

Applications for Mental Health:

  • Calm – this app is focused on meditation, improved sleep cycles, body stretches and calming music to assist people with stress, anxiety and relaxation.
  • Headspace – this app is focused on practicing mindfulness and meditation to decrease stress and increase focus and compassion.
  • MindWell U – an organization which focuses on building resiliency, working in collaboration and creating mindfulness strategies that are personalized to the individual. Consultations and training can occur online or in person!
  • LifeArmor – with a target to the military population, this app aims to provide support for those individuals suffering from PTSD. Self-assessments assist an individual in managing problems relating to past trauma, anxiety, relationship issues, substance abuse and more!
  • MoodTools – this app helps users lift their mood through monitoring depression levels, a thought diary and a safety plan involving coping strategies, professionals to call, and more!
  • CBT Online – this website supplies several resources to assist an individual in changing their thoughts through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Resources include an online therapist through live chat, worksheets, journals, activity plans, tests, forums and yoga!

What can you do as an Employer?

As an employer it is difficult to manage the concerns around technology and productivity.  Some ways to assist employees in managing technology can include:

  • Assist employees in setting boundaries around answering work related emails after hours.
  • Suggest ways to remove cell phones during meetings – have a cell phone box so employees can focus and participate in meetings and training.
  • Ensure employees know that having a cell phone at the desk as well as using the computer can be distracting. Set up cell phone checking break times where employees can check phones/social media.
  • Allow access to applications such as the ones listed above for managing mental health.
  • Offer Occupational Therapists onsite for managing mental health and stay at work principles.

What can you do as an Employee?

There are some important principles to consider when dealing with technology and work:

  • Set boundaries for turning off work when you go home.
  • Do not answer emails after hours (unless you are on call for emergency situations).
  • Shut off technology at least 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Plug in your phone away from the bedroom to allow you to have uninterrupted sleep.
  • Use the mental health applications to support your meditation and mindfulness practice.

How can Gowan Consulting Help?

Gowan Consulting offers several workplace solutions regarding mental health. We currently have our Managing Mental Health Issues and Return to Work Workshop in February for 20% off the original price! This workshop helps participants learn the skills to manage mental health concerns in the workplace, and help those who suffer from mental illness return to work and stay at work! We offer multiple webinars on mental health on topics such as mindfulness, resiliency, and exposure therapy. Take a look at all of our products here.

Don’t miss out on our workshop! Others have mentioned that our “case studies and other resources provided excellent ways to assess the work, worker and workplace prior to return to work for those who suffer from a mental health workplace injury”. Register NOW to save!

If you are interested in the other resources Gowan Consulting offers, click here to contact us about how we can assist you in the workplace!

 

Works Cited

Images retrieved from google.ca/images/mentalhealthandtechnology

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