Personal safety apps are of great importance when it comes to chronic disease management. And among all the kinds of chronic or long-lasting illnesses, problems with mental health conditions deserve a separate mention. The devastating consequences of mental illnesses are the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34. According to NAMI statistics:
1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness each year;
1 in 20 adults in the U.S. experience serious mental illness each year;
1 in 6 youth aged 6-17 in the U.S. experience a mental health disorder each year;
50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
Of course, not all of these people need to stay at a treatment facility. In many cases, after relieving the acute symptoms, the person may well be treated at home, adhering to the doctor's recommendations. What challenges do they face in this case, and how does technology come to the rescue? Let's talk about this in more detail.
Usually, in-hospital care is needed during the acute period of the disease or when any complications happen. Timely help could prevent the deterioration, but people frequently are unwilling to go to the doctor unless their condition is critical. So what stops them from acquiring help?
Loneliness, which doesn't always mean living alone. People with depressions, anxiety disorders, and other mental health issues feel lonely even in the most crowded spaces. They feel like no one understands them and are getting less and less likely to trust people around.
Mental illness stigma is sometimes an insurmountable obstacle to treatment. When people suspect they might have any mental health issues, they sometimes put all the energy into ensuring that those around them do not notice it. Unfortunately, the disorder is still progressing in the process.
Fragmented mental healthcare system. Though psychiatric treatment gets increasingly accessible, regular mental health checks have not become a habit and are not always covered by insurance. To be diagnosed and receive qualified help, a person has to make an effort that they are often unable to make in their mental state.
Lack of mental health education and lots of stereotypes make the lives of people with depression or a mental disorder extremely tense and sad.
Fortunately, the industry of mental health apps is growing and offers the following solutions:
We can divide them into apps for treatment and apps that make everyday life safer and easier. The first type includes apps for mental health professionals, self-monitoring apps, and depression apps. The second type includes various kinds of reminders and personal safety apps. Let's zoom in on each category to learn more about them:
Apps for Psychologists. Diagnostic capabilities and scheduled communication with a doctor are the main features of this type of mental health application. The modern market of apps for psychologists includes apps for enhancing cognitive-behavioral therapy and more. There are apps for doctors that help maintain and grow their professional skills by following the news and journals in the mental health world. Apps for doctor-patient communication enable video connection, audio calls, scheduling therapy sessions, and texting.
Self-Monitoring Mental Health Apps are a step forward in mental illnesses' diagnostics. They include diverse scales and questionnaires for getting and evaluating more detailed information about the person's condition. Their conclusions are private, but the app recommends visiting a doctor if the indicators show a high risk of a mental disorder.
Depression apps contain a set of tools and exercises to ease frustration and boost one's mood. Those can be breathing exercises, guided meditation, or a kind of virtual communication.
Although sometimes it seems that mental illness takes up most of life, there are still many daily activities where the patient also needs support.
Reminder apps are of great help. First of all, with taking medications. With mental illnesses, the success of treatment depends significantly on the timeliness of medication intake. Moreover, reminders can help with meal schedules, which is essential for people with eating disorders.
Personal safety apps are a need for such a vulnerable category of patients. We'll talk about them in more detail.
#1. Ease of installation and use. Any app for patients should be easy to install, easy to navigate, and easy to use. An intuitive menu, simple tips, and the presence of the main help options should be right there.
#2. Emergency connection. If you choose emergency services - check that they are active in the entire area where the person is moving. Even in this case, calling 911 may not always be the best option, and it is better if the personal safety app has an option for emergency contacts. Family members are always the first to come to the rescue and help with deciding what kind of emergency services are needed and when.
#3. Panic button. Since there may be more alarming situations for a person with mental health problems, the panic button should also be in a personal safety app, always ready to use.
#4. GPS monitoring. In outpatient treatment, the person is free to move around. But even for entirely healthy people, there are many risks in everyday life. What to say about people whose actions are less predictable and whose problems with perception and memory can cause a person to get lost even in a familiar place?
#5. Inactivity monitoring. Depression is a quiet killer. A patient may seem very calm while his condition is getting gradually worse. Decreased activity for people with depression is an essential diagnostic factor that affects the assessment of the disease, the plan, and the treatment modality. Therefore, the feature of inactivity monitoring is vital.
It is crucial to respect your relatives' personal space and maintain a trusting relationship with your loved ones when they’re treating a mental illness. Although you will use some supervision, it should be as unobtrusive as possible. AllsWell Alert is designed for the most unintrusive care possible and includes the essential features a safety monitoring app should have. Its GPS monitoring signals about a person's location only in case of potential danger when the alert is sent to the emergency contact and doesn’t record the person’s movements aside from that. And the inactivity monitoring feature makes it invaluable to keep your peace of mind while caring for relatives with mental health issues.
The AllsWell Alert app will serve you well in various situations. Try it right now and enjoy a free month: