How Can Technology Improve Employee Mental Health?

Manipulate IT (Information Technologies) to improve mental health in the workplace. Discover the power of UX, new mental health apps and self-assessment tools.

How Technology Can Improve Employee Mental Health

About 26 percent of American adults live with a mental disorder in any given year, and 46 percent will develop a mental illness over their lifetime. We repeatedly hear about the perils of technology on mental health. But what if we could use this tool in our favor? How can we manipulate IT (information technology) to improve mental health in the workplace?

Mental health apps

These fall in a category we like to call "coding for good." These apps benefit both clinicians and clients, given that they save money and time and provide access to users who would otherwise find it challenging to address their mental health concerns. Clever coding can lead to easily navigable apps that even the least tech-savvy team member could access. 24-hour service could provide excellent supplemental help for people who already seek more traditional venues, like therapy or medication. Not to mention, mental health apps decrease costs to employees while allowing them to keep their anonymity when seeking help. A few tremendous mental health apps are What's Up, MindShift, Happify, Headspace, and Calm – but you can find many others targeting mental health issues ranging from anxiety and depression to eating disorders and OCD.

UX design

Design and coding go hand-in-hand. IT (Information Technologies) is a critical component that allows IT specialists and UX (user experience) designers to create comfortable virtual spaces for all users. Case in point: Sidebench, an app, and software development company, recently partnered with the WITH Foundation to help designers, developers, and founders think about how designing with disabilities in mind can improve the user experience for those seeking help online. Minimizing the complexity of displayed content, embedding realistic images, and coding for a platform that encourages inclusivity and a sense of community are just a few ways coders and designers can employ their skills to support and enhance users' mental health.

Self-assessment tools

Technology is the backbone of digital tools that help employees better understand and care for themselves. There's much intelligent coding behind self-assessment tools, self-management programs, tool kits, and materials for organizations and employers to deliver mental health and stress management education. A few educational and self-assessment agencies we love? Mental Health Meter, Organizational Assessment, and How Resilient Are You?

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