Mental health has become a pertinent part of the public conversation this year, with celebrities and public figures coming forward with the importance of mental health, marking the reduction in the stigma that has been a part of this topic for a long time. The pandemic has been an eye-opener for all of us, in many ways it has emphasised the need for mental health and has acted as a major stressor in everyone’s life. There was a splurge of mental health crises since 2020 and within these two years, awareness has been on the rise as well.
People have started actively looking out for signs of discomfort with may affect their day-to-day life. There is more dialog within the workplace, families and the general public and the consequences of ignoring a mental illness are now becoming clearer. Of course, there were challenges brought forth owing to the boom in the industry, but this year has had a lot of learning, growing, and renewed optimism.
We as humans are committed to research and building accessible and more effective modes of treatment. Certain trends are being floated around the world, highlighting the constant efforts. With improvements in mental health services, social and economic disparities can be overcome, delivering treatment to all groups of society.
Here are some of the trends to look out for in the coming months, some are not yet in circulation. However, knowing these emerging developments in the field will be an enlightening read.
Owing to the Covid-19 crisis, both customers and clients started relying on technology for mental health care when in-person visits could not possible. From telehealth to online counseling, technology has been both a convenient and effective mode of administering mental well-being care. People are now relying on apps and digital platforms to assess and manage their at-risk behaviour patterns of anxiety and depression. Whether it is medication or maintaining a journal or online portals for consultation, technology has become an integral part of our lives. With digitalisation, record keeping is also being revolutionised moving from pen and paper to digital files. Working is eased with the comfort of automated reminders, scheduled calendars, and streamlined workflows.
The approach adopted in trauma-informed care is moving from “What is wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”. According to research, about 6 of every 10 men and 5 of every 10 women have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lives. The focus is shifted to healing the patient under the pretext of their life situations, past and present, in order to deliver care within the healing spectrum. There are a lot of advantages to practicing trauma-informed care, namely, improved patient conversation, health outcomes, and treatment adherence. This specialised care has hit the spotlight since the beginning of 2022 and has been spread across the masses this year. A holistic picture is obtained by implementing trauma-informed care rather than focusing on just the individual’s skills to cope with problems.
The amount of burnout and work pressure has been on the rise since the events of the year 2020. With stress hitting the workforce unannounced, employers have realised the importance of mental wellness and have incorporated the same within their management. Plans will likely include mental and behavioral health services and big companies may also involve counselors and therapists in the workplace the improving mental health while reducing burnout. Big companies like Accenture and Twitter have started giving their employees days off for monitoring mental health and take breaks to avoid burnout. In the future, it is safe to assume that more companies will start practicing this trend as the topic gains more traction.
Many indigenous cultures have employed the use of psychedelics for medical and religious purposes. However, researchers have always been interested in investigating the effects of using psychedelics to treat illnesses like anxiety and depression, just to name a few. Psychoactive substances and such medicines are being explored in order to find a more useful purpose for them, in reduced and monitored quantities. There is a risk of addiction and side effects which will pose a major challenge for scientists. However, it will be interesting to see a method that can be adapted with legality and efficacy for specific conditions.
We are all well aware of the increased use of social media and the harmful effects it has had in our lives ever since the online mode of everything began. It has become a new form of addiction that folks are having a hard time tackling. Recall the documentary “The Social Dilemma” where many working with big giants like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest called these social media houses on their designed way of ensuring people’s attention on the apps as long as possible. Digital wellness is venturing out into a separate stream of dialog where taking occasional breaks from screen time is highly recommended. Healthy boundaries must be established for maintaining a good mental space while enjoying the perks of social media. 2022 also marked the conversations on “doom scrolling”, “social media toxicity” and “virtual privacy” which further points out the negative impact of social media on mental health.
This year has seen significant development in the sphere of mental health with virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and technology taking over the research and development aspect of psychology. As psychology enthusiasts, knowing these trends is a useful tool and will give you something to look out for. Revolution in mental health care is underway, whether it is therapies, research, or resources, it is best to be prepared for what is coming.
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