Apps Help Close the Gap in Mental Health Services
By Jenny Haykin, MA, CRC
Integrated Leaves & Accommodations Program Manager
Puget Sound Energy
An estimated 113 million Americans live in areas identified as mental health professional shortage areas by the Health Resources and Services Administration (in the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services). But technological advances are establishing a foothold in the mental health arena to expand access to help. Resilience and mindfulness training, the delivery of techniques targeting specific diagnoses, and management education can all occur today without human contact. Social media and telemedicine can connect humans who may not have otherwise ever reached each other.
In the mental wellness realm, the use of video-based training and online exercises are helping employees understand how to help themselves. A variety of programs are offered through employee assistance programs (EAPs) and wellness platforms and teach employees how to self-sooth and be more aware and more able to recover from life’s daily challenges. While EAPs offer a self-service approach, wellness programs can incentivize the use of these online services by providing rewards for participation. Companies with outsourced EAP and/or wellness programs can contact their account management to learn which service providers they are in business with.
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