(NC) Did you know that nearly three out of four Canadians spend three to four hours online every day? Whether it’s via our smartphone, tablet or desktop computers, we’re online connecting with friends, booking travel, ordering groceries or hailing a ride. Our online worlds are keeping us creative, organized and connected.
But what’s far less known is how that connection can help support people with mental health issues through new digital tools and online services.
If you know any teens, then you know they text. Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone is Canada’s first 24/7, free, nationwide crisis texting service. It allows Canadian youth to connect with a volunteer Crisis Responder to confidentially text about any issue, big or small, in a way that they want to communicate. Since launching in fall 2018, there have been more than 125,000 texting conversations with young Canadians and more than six active rescues and lives saved each day.
Building online communities can also help alleviate perceived isolation and address mental health concerns. For example, Speakbox is a first-of-its-kind digital mental health service that pairs online peer support with secure digital journaling and access to a library of evidence-based activities that can help users manage their mental illness with physician-approved tactics. Its newest iteration will allow users to share information with their health care team in a way that doesn’t require individuals to retell and relive their trauma over and over again.
“We often hear about the dangers of social media and too much screen time and how it’s endangering our mental health. But with the right tools, connecting people to the right resources or community, it is extremely powerful and promotes patient empowerment,” says Michael Green, President and CEO of Canada Health Infoway. “This is at the heart of the Access 2022 movement.”
Access 2022 is a national movement for digital health that brings together the collective expertise of an agile technology sector, the knowledge base of health system experts, and insights and experiences of patients and caregivers, to ultimately meet and exceed the demands of Canadians in the 21st century. To learn more about Access 2022 and join the movement, visit http://www.access2022.ca.