“How do you feel today?” It’s a common question, and for some people an answer rolls off the tongue automatically – perhaps something non-committal and socially appropriate, like “I’m fine” or, “Okay”. In fact, this happens so often that I’ve gotten into the habit of asking again, which is usually met with confusion. It seems surprising to people to realise that someone isn’t just being polite, but genuinely wants to know how they are. It catches them off guard, it encourages consideration and introspect, and sometimes the answer is quite different the second time. So, how do you feel today?
What would be different about your day if you felt much better, or a lot worse than you do? Do you prioritise things like mood, wellbeing, and mental health in your daily schedule? And if not, what stops you? Would you be more likely to factor it in if you had the time, or could easily access resources?
In the information age, it’s pretty appealing to push something fluffy like wellness to the bottom of the pile. After all, there are real things that need doing, like, right now, and that iPhone full of deadlines and business emails will not stop buzzing.
But what if technology didn’t have to be a barrier to looking after our mental health? What if the two could work together, and create a new way of experiencing the world for every single person on it?
If we look a bit closer, we can see how valuable technology has become for our psychological needs – and how promising the future for mental health care might be if we take advantage of the digital revolution.
– Dr Jennifer Hazel