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How can we develop digital mental health services in the future?

It has been gratifying to see how, in recent years, efforts have been made to find alternative ways of digital treatment that complement therapy for mental health. One of the reasons for the development has certainly been that the current social and health care service system cannot meet the growing needs of services resulting from increased mental health problems.

It has been good in the development of digital services that the services have enabled self-care programs, information about mental well-being, online therapies, symptom surveys and help in difficult life situations. In addition, social and health care professionals have received tools to support customers’ mental health. People can get support quickly, regardless of where they live, and services have been able to be scaled up more efficiently. For a large part of those who need help, a short intervention that starts quickly is enough, if the service system is capable of early identification.

However, the measures mentioned above are not enough. We need more information on how services and digital tools can be used to measure, monitor and improve the well-being of clients and thus prevent mental health problems. The information obtained through the development of services can also provide participants with useful information about their own well-being, mental health and healthy lifestyles, as well as effectiveness. We can also support maintaining and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Modern digital screening methods can help to identify “high risk” persons and population groups early enough, and guide them to preventive action before their need for services increases significantly.

I would hope that all those people who want or are in the scope of therapy treatments would primarily have access to digital programs encouraging healthy lifestyles, which would encourage everyday small actions to promote well-being. Without taking care of the basic pillars of well-being: mind, movement, nutrition, sleep, satisfaction with one’s life and social interactions, the results of therapy treatments threaten to fall short of the goals.

Services aimed at all citizens and their results can also provide versatile information on whether comprehensive services such as those mentioned above and electronic data collection can support management with information, especially from the perspective of mental health.

5.7.2023 Petteri Sveins, CEO

Wellpro Impact Solutions Oy