Technology could be the key to help people improve and maintain positive mental health according to researchers at the University of Sheffield.
Every year one in four people will experience a common mental health problem such as anxiety, depression, drug or alcohol abuse or eating disorders.
Over 75 per cent of people who experience symptoms of anxiety and depression get no treatment but leading researchers from the University’s Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH) have identified technology as a way to help improve access to care and information that can help people manage their condition better.
The way the NHS is currently set up means that most services are offered from 9 am to 5pm, Monday to Friday in a healthcare setting, which means lots of people with mental health problems are unable to access care easily and some people find it difficult to speak to people face to face.
Dr Katherine Easton from CATCH at the University of Sheffield said: “Technology can increase the availability of services, it can provide services out of hours, it gives people choices and options, and most importantly it helps people take control of their own health.
“Many people are not aware of the options. We need to inform the public and health providers about how technology may be used to support people.
“We need to evaluate technology, which, is being developed all the time, and make sure it is being used and delivered in the publics interest to provide the highest quality care and ensure people’s safety when we aren’t all in the same place at the same time.”
CATCH builds on the track record of successful interdisciplinary and translational research across the University of Sheffield, bringing together and coordinating expertise across health research, engineering, psychology, computer science, architecture and social science.
For more information about CATCH at the University of Sheffield please visit: http://www.catch.org.uk/