How Safe Are Mental Health Apps?
Mental health awareness is reaching an all-time high. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, and substance addiction are finally starting to be taken seriously, and people are finally seeking necessary help. Almost 30% of Americans have seen a therapist during the pandemic, for example. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a private therapist to help them.
As a result, there’s an increase in self-help apps that seemingly offer affordable mental health care. Although many of these apps are based on genuine psychological approaches and techniques, there’s one thing that most of them are lacking – cybersecurity.
Mental health apps aren’t obliged to follow many of the rules that the health sector typically complies with. For instance, they might not reassure that patients’ data will be safe and remain confidential from anyone.
Mental health apps as an alternative to therapy
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a significant rise in telemedicine (or remote healthcare). Patients can easily schedule virtual consultations with their healthcare providers. They can receive digital prescriptions or seek help over the phone. Most commonly, they can use online resources to deal with mental health issues.
Young adults are increasingly using social media as an alternative to therapy, whether by watching videos from therapists or using designated social media groups. Thus, health experts ask one important question: can people rely on an app to soothe their mental hurdles?
As these apps become smarter thanks to advances in AI and natural language processing, we can expect to see an increase in mental health app users. While they’re not always the best alternative to face-to-face therapy, they’re the most affordable option, making them an increasingly more popular choice.