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Can Text Messaging be Considered as Part of a Mental Health Therapy?

Update Date: Aug 15, 2020 06:25 PM EDT
Can Text Messaging be Considered as Part of a Mental Health Therapy?
(Photo : Can Text Messaging be Considered as Part of a Mental Health Therapy?)

While the world went into lockdown (and still is in some part of the world), external mental health patients stillneeded to be tended to. This prompted a three-month study on the interest of text messaging between the therapistand his patient, to fill the gap between periods they cannot meet. Here are the results, which would tend to provethat it can work.

A Stressful Period

People with mental health issues also often suffer from stress and anxiety. During the lockdown, everyone wentthrough these tensions (not only those with mental health issues) and not all of us had someone to talk to, or like inthe study, to receive messages from. Stress management can be a very difficult thing to learn by yourself andsometimes, you need help to find ways keeping the anxiety under control. Today, technology is able to bring newtools to protect ourselves better from the effects of stress, just like the Stress App which can make you learn newtechniques to remain in control of your mental well-being. In the case of the study (which included people sufferingfrom depression - often caused by stress), the technological advance was counselling through text messaging.

A Promising Study on Text Messaging and Mental Health Counselling

The study included 49 participants and was prompted by the coronavirus crisis. Out of these patients who areusually treated externally, 62% suffered from schizophrenia, 24% were bipolar and 14% had depression. As it wasimpossible to meet face to face with their patients, due to the lockdown, the doctors decided to try a new form oftherapy implicating text messaging, hoping it would safely take these individuals through the lockdown period. In the end, the study did find that therapy through text messaging can be a safe new tool to care for people withmental health issue. In fact, it states that text messaging might even be more beneficial than clinic-based services, because of limited hours, complication of getting to the clinic and cost. But for now, the recommendation is to addtext messaging to the therapy and not replace it completely.

A Highly Approved Method by the Patients

More than nine patients out of ten said, after the test was completed, that they thought text messaging was anacceptable form of therapy. The percentage was even higher when asked if it made them feel better (94% said yes). Finally, 87% said they would recommend this kind of therapy to a friend.

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