Innovative technology encourages mental health screening and treatment

In a bid to counter the multi-layered challenges of providing easily accessible mental health care services to the public, a seemingly effective approach has been adopted by a number of states in the United States. The aim is to provide free, quick and anonymous mental health screening. The innovative idea of mental health screening through kiosks would enable a wider reach to people with mental disorders, especially those in areas where there are lesser professional mental health care service providers. The kiosk can help destigmatize mental illnesses that prevent people from seeking professional help.

The idea of the kiosk came as part of the 2014 design challenge to find ways to develop a sustainable mental health component inside retail clinics. The winning idea came from The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disability Services (DBHIDS) and Screening for Mental Health Inc. (SMH). The kiosk is a do-it-yourself mental health screening machine that allows people to use a mounted tablet to access information about mental health, and determine the presence of any symptoms of a mental health disorder. The kiosk also provides information about the nearby mental health care service providers and other treatment resources.

Kiosks taking mental health screening services to the public

In order to make mental health screening as commonplace as any other physical health check-ups, the kiosk concept has been taken up by many public health departments as well as college universities. Hosting the kiosk in the community sends out a strong message that mental health needs to be discussed and should be taken seriously. The Hyde County in North Carolina has received a positive response from residents who have willingly accepted the new step. The Public Health Director, David Howard, calls it a fantastic move to help destigmatize the issues of behavioral health.

Other counties like the Edgecombe County Health Department has collaborated with Eastpointe, a managed care organization (MCO), with the hope to make people’s lives more comfortable and meaningful for people looking for mental health help services and information. One of the biggest challenges that the initiative aims to resolve is the lack of professional health providers in the county.

The kiosk is gaining popularity in college universities as well with Drexel University installing its first kiosk in its recreational center two years back. The kiosk is providing its mental health resources to the students, faculty and staffs of the university as well as to those who are not associated with the university. In January 2017, Oakland University unveiled its first free screening kiosk, which became Michigan’s first health kiosk.

Road to recovery

All around the country, efforts are being taken to bring treatment for mental health disorders at par with physical illness. At the same time, lack of awareness and misconceptions are fueling social stigma that is restraining individuals from asking for help. One must understand that mental health problems can have a negative impact on the overall well-being of an individual and if help is not sought, it can negatively impact the life of the individual as well as of the family.

If you or your loved one is suffering from any mental health disorder, don’t hesitate to seek information about mental disorder treatment in Florida by contacting the treatment advisers at the Florida Mental Health Helpline. You can chat online or call our 24/7 helpline number 866-846-5588 to get details about the best rehab centers in Florida which specializes in customized treatment programs.

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