Digital Technology on the Way to Improving Learners’ Mental Health
Modern learners, especially Gen Z, can’t imagine their lives without technologies, and this is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, teenagers spend around nine hours per day online, and the frequent usage of social media seriously affects their level of anxiety and cases of depression. However, on the other hand, technologies can promote mental well-being as well since there are multiple tools for reducing anxiety, depression, and stress. Thus, the addictive nature of smartphones could be used for directing it at issues that matter.
In this article, Qubit Labs has decided to emphasize the usage of technologies to improve college students’ mental health and review the opportunities in this area. We will pay special attention to the major ways technology can help in supporting students’ mental health. Hence, on improving the understanding of their emotions and feelings and reducing the inclination to various mental health issues.
Wellness and Meditation Apps
Since mental health issues are a common part of the college experience, many educational facilities try to implement platforms where first-year students can register and monitor their well-being throughout the four years of schooling experience. Such apps thrive on data because the more frequently the learners use them, the more their experience can be customized.
Besides, such applications measure student performance and assess how their thoughts, physical activity, diet, and other symptoms affect it. Students can also receive reports based on the levels of their stress and anxiety, friend networks, and sleep patterns. These factors help the app to come up with relevant suggestions in areas they should focus on.
Also, students often use meditation to cope with stress and anxiety, and many teachers promote breathing exercises to encourage mindfulness and help students focus on their tasks. So, such apps are sought-after among users, especially when considering how many different factors, from the global ones to more personal, influence their well-being.
Usually, such kinds of apps include several vital characteristics. A well-thought UI/UX makes it easy for the learners to use them and not feeling that they are obliged to do that, but it’s their genuine desire. Self-monitoring features also matter a lot because it enables users to reduce and cope with mental illness symptoms and prevent their development.
It’s often when students find certain situations too challenging for them, like going to social events or getting on a crowded bus. VR helps them modify the way they think, react, and behave in such situations. It is based on state-dependent learning, implying people tend to remember best in the situations certain memories were initially formed. So, in case a student wants to reduce the anxiety of visiting classes, it’s better to actually visit it during the therapy session. In this way, VR helps a learner to adapt and feel less stressed, while the professional can monitor one’s state.
The implementation of VR technologies for mental health goals becomes more frequently adopted each year because it helps students transfer to the real world with fewer challenges. Such coaching sessions can reduce the level of fear of something several times.
Also, students know that VR environments are only simulations, so they don’t find them as anxiety-provoking as real-world situations. Automation is another benefit of VR because a virtual coach can explain the therapy and teach students some psychological techniques they might try out. In such cases, there is no need to have an actual therapist at every session because it can be a graduate psychologist or a person who has lived through a similar experience.
VR hardware has impressive potential in the area of mental health because it’s becoming increasingly affordable and feasible to potential implementations for mental services.
Digital SEL Programs
Social and emotional learning plays a critical role in the promotion of positive mental health and mitigating and reducing the signs of mental health disorders. There are various programs that help students learn how to process and deal with their emotions. Technology provides means for improving the skills of solving personal problems, developing self-esteem and confidence, and increasing the students’ resilience and ability to deal with challenges.
Such apps and programs are often in the form of games, interactive videos, and digitally rendered graphic novels. They enhance concentration and help students who experience an outburst of frustration and anger to calm their energy and relax. In addition, SEL programs enable students to have personalized guidance and enhance the level of support for their mental health.
These apps help learn valuable skills, for example, on how to deal with anxiety and encourage users to pick new strategies that will help them put the received knowledge into practice.
Psychohygiene matters a lot, especially in modern conditions where learners face different sources of stress. It’s essential to develop educational solutions that will be focused both on enhancing the learners’ ability to put received knowledge into practice and pay attention to their feelings, emotions, and mood. The learning environment directly affects their motivation, performance, and productivity.
Implementing custom educational solutions and encouraging their usage within the students can help the educational facilities reduce the stress levels among the learners and prevent different mental health issues.
Since modern society is associated with the usage of technological innovations, it’s necessary to implement them in one of the most crucial areas – mental health. The demand for technological mental health solutions for learners will continue to outpace supply. Such tools have untapped potential, and it’s time to finally make use of it.