Mental Health and Assistive Technology

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

As the month wraps up, I wanted to start a discussion on the dynamic between assistive technology and mental health. It’s a great opportunity to highlight how assistive technology can work as both a means and an end to support mental health.

What does it mean when something is a means and an end? It means that it is both a way of getting to the end product and the end product itself. In this case, assistive technology can be both a tool in improving mental health and the reason for improved mental health itself.

There’s quite a variety of apps out there that promote better mental health habits and help regulate emotions. Some favorites include:

  • Meditation apps (like Headspace or Calm): Meditation apps are great when trying to redirect challenging behaviors, promote good habits, reframe thinking patterns, or establish a bedtime routine. Personally, Headspace is a lifesaver for those nights my brain just won’t shut off!
  • Mood tracking apps (like Daylio or Moody): When you track your mood daily, it can help you notice patterns, triggers, or positive influences in your life. It’s important to know how your body and mind react to stimuli throughout your day, so you can better prepare for the things that affect your mental health negatively and do more of what makes you feel good!
  • Emotional regulation apps (like iReact): When your feelings are a little too overwhelming, it can affect your functioning. By using apps to regulate your emotions, you can easily identify the feeling, notice how it affects your body and find a productive way to feel your feelings.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of mental health apps, but rather a sampling to let you know what is out there.

Of course, it’s important to note that you can use no-tech or low-tech strategies to accomplish this as well! Simple meditation recordings, color coding your calendar based on your mood and journaling are all really great ways to use no-and-low-tech to work on your mental health.

Now let’s talk about how mental health is an end result of assistive technology use. Assistive technology is designed to improve function, increase independence and promote better quality of life. Simply put – all these things are wonderful for your mental health!

When you get a wheelchair that is properly fitted and comfortable, you have less pain and are able to do more activities due to better positioning, which leads to better mental health.

When you have an accessible and safe home, you can access your kitchen for healthy food and your bathroom to maintain hygiene, which leads to better mental health.

When you have a communication device, you are able to let your needs be heard and socialize with peers, which leads to better mental health.

When you can access a computer for school/work, you are able to participate in learning and earn money independently, which leads to better mental health.

All this is to say – mental health matters and assistive technology can help. If you think you could benefit from an assistive technology evaluation to support your mental health, contact Hamlin Consulting, LLC at 603-460-5958 or lhamlin@hamlin-consulting.com.

Lilly Hamlin and Hamlin Consulting, LLC have no affiliation with any products discussed in this post.

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