The quantity of mental health apps available for teens is growing and that’s a good thing. A new study by Indiana University psychologists have found that self-guided internet applications can effectively reduce depression in teens. The study supports claims made by various apps that say they improve depression symptoms. Teens with depression can seek help from these apps without feeling judged or overwhelmed by their own feelings. The study also benefits the mental health system which is overloaded with teens seeking help for various mental health issues.
Teens with depression are expensive for the healthcare system. Many times, the number of patients exceeds the number of doctors available to treat them. Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy apps allow teens with depression to seek assistance and improve their depression through self-guided techniques. They also allow teens to seek help without being judged or feeling like a failure for asking a doctor for assistance. The study showed that not only do these apps help mild depression, but they also can alleviate symptoms of moderate and severe depression.
Researchers remind teens to continue to take their medication and see their physician for regular check ups. However, using an app that employs guided iCBT can give guidance to those who need it in the moment and cannot get into a doctor’s office immediately. It can significantly reduce incidences of suicide. Teens will also feel more comfortable about reaching out for help. Researchers add that ten to fifteen minutes on the apps may help many people and free up doctors to see more patients. Teens with depression have many avenues available to them to receive help. Research now supports the need and legitimacy of mental health apps to support the growing number of people needing mental health assistance.
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