Technology and Mental Health: Opening Research Possibilities

Roberta E. Tovey

Roberta E. Tovey, Director of Communications, MoodNetwork

Technology is so integrated into our lives today that it’s practically impossible to imagine existence without our cellphones, laptops, search engines, and Internet connections. We shop for appliances and clothing online; we talk on our cell phones while we are out running in the morning and while we drive home from work at night; we receive and send dozens or hundreds of emails every day; we do our research with Google; we read our books on Kindles and our newspapers on tablets; our kids do their homework on laptops and text their friends instead of talking to them. Whether or not this is an improvement over the past is irrelevant: we are here and there’s no going back.

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The Ethics of Digital Mental Health

Craig M. Klugman, Ph.D.
Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities, Department of Health Sciences, DePaul University

While the Internet age has been in full force for nearly 30 years, it is only in the recent decade that computer technology has made its way into patients’ hands.

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Use Shared Decision Making to Maximize Health Insurance Benefits

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance for Care for Your Mind

It’s no secret that out-of-pocket healthcare costs—the amount you pay—have risen significantly. These expenses have been trending upward for over a decade and there is no indication that this trend will end anytime soon. In 2013, according to the HealthAffairs Blog, nearly one-third of participants in an employer-sponsored plan had a high deductible. Plans purchased through the federal marketplace have similar out-of-pocket costs, especially at the Bronze level.

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The Smartphone: A Thermometer for Mental Health?

Ardesheer Talati

Ardesheer Talati, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurobiology in Psychiatry at Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute

For all the high-tech medical gadgetry, the thermometer remains among the most remarkable medical devices: safe, easy to use, reliable. Pop it in, and out comes a number (body temperature) that can be used to make a number of important decisions related to our physical health.

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UN Report Calls for “Revolution” in How Mental Health Care Is Provided.

Eric Scharf

Eric Scharf, Advocacy Advisor, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Calling for a “revolution in mental health care to end decades of neglect, abuse and violence,” Dainus Pūras, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, has issued a report that calls for major changes in mental health care around the world.

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Breaking the Cycle for My Family

by Chris, Families for Depression Awareness volunteer

A rough start in life
Growing up, Chris saw substance abuse and mood disorders on both sides of his family. “I remember my mother and father fighting a lot when we were kids,” Chris says. Both he and his little brother were smart, but the instability of their parents’ relationship and their mother’s subsequent remarriage took a toll on them.

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Patients Need to Be Involved in Policy-Making

Photo of Tony Coelho

Editors’ Note: With Congress in recess for the 4th of July holiday, we get a brief reprieve from the Senate’s consideration of the “Better Care Reconciliation Act.” From where we sit, this legislation severely undermines gains that we have made in access to and quality of mental health care.

In the spirit of citizen engagement, we offer an encore post from former Member of Congress Tony Coelho on the need for patients – and we would add families, too – to be involved in policy-making. We hope it will inspire you to share your concerns about the proposed changes to the healthcare system and to tell your elected officials how this bill would impact you and your family’s health and wellbeing.

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

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Reducing the Suicide Rate Among Middle-Aged Men in Massachusetts

MassMen, Massachusetts Department of Public Health Suicide Prevention Program

Of the more than 44,000 Americans who die by suicide each year, the vast majority—79%—of those who are taking their lives are men.

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