The Future of Advanced Mental Health Treatment
As a new decade begins, the mental health community faces many challenges. Many data show the dire state of mental healthcare around the world, and some people even call it a crisis. However, the profession is also on the brink of some incredible innovations that will improve healthcare around the globe.
Emerging technologies and a better understanding of the human brain are allowing these innovations to help people with all sorts of mental illnesses. With more accurate diagnostic tools, a cooperative approach to wellness, mobile technology for treatment, and promising new medications, the future of mental health treatment seems bright.
The Current Mental Health Crisis
Before looking at the promising solutions on the horizon, it’s helpful to understand what challenges the mental health community face today and in the future. Doctors in The Permanente Journal argue that mental health will be the next global health crisis. A few data points that backup this claim include:
- Suicide continues to be the second-largest cause of death for teens and young adults
- Globally, 350 million people experience depression each year, and more than two-thirds of those people never receive the care they need
- Underprivileged people are more likely to develop mental illness and less likely to find adequate care
- Three-quarters of the counties in the United States have shortages of mental healthcare providers
Luckily, many professionals throughout the mental health community are coming together to provide solutions to these issues.
Better Diagnostic Tools
In recent years, there has been a push in the medical community to understand more about the human brain. Similarly, scientists have set out to understand genetics more thoroughly. Combined with improvements in technologies, these goals have given researchers better insights into the physical side of mental illness.
In the coming years, patients can expect to see diagnostic tools like never before. With brain-imaging technologies and genetic tests, healthcare providers will be able to diagnose patients quickly and with more accuracy. The end result will be better treatments and faster healing.
Collaborative Mental Healthcare
Imagine if your primary care doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, and other medical professionals were all on the same page about your health. That’s what many people in the medical community are working toward with collaborative healthcare. As healthcare communication technologies improve, doctors and practitioners from all fields can better communicate about the patient’s needs.
Smartphones for Mental Health Treatment
As it turns out, there really is an app for anything. Mental health professionals and software developers have been teaming up to develop groundbreaking apps that can help people experience mental wellness. While telehealth applications are already well-known, other types of apps are coming out including:
- Self-management apps that track data that users input
- Cognition-building apps
- Supported care apps in which healthcare teams and patients use the apps together
- Passive-tracking apps that track behaviors and alert users to unhealthy changes
As mobile technology continues to grow and evolve, mental health patients can expect to see many apps that can augment their treatment plans. However, we cannot recommend replacing existing treatments with these mobile technologies.
New Types of Medications
There’s no doubt that mental health medications have come a long way since the science first began. However, it has been a few decades since the profession saw a big leap in the types of available treatments. That is all set to change in the coming years.
Behavioral health treatments like ketamine infusion therapy and Spravato are making big waves throughout the mental health community. Not only has this new type of antidepressant been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but emerging research is also showing promise that it can help with other disorders as well. At Actify, we are proud to be on the cutting-edge of mental health treatment options.