Technology and Mental Health Support ─ Exploring The Advantages and Disadvantages

This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp. 

Technology has made great strides over the last several decades and continues to expand at a significant rate. With these advances have come numerous benefits and drawbacks, including those pertaining to mental health. Understanding these

Keep reading to learn more about the potential pros and cons of technology on mental wellness and how you can use the latest developments to your advantage.

Advantages Of Technology For Mental Wellness


Some of the mental health advantages people may experience from using technology include the following:

  • More accessible information ─ Getting information about mental health used to be much more difficult than it is today. Now, people can perform a simple internet search to find much of what they need instead of having to search through pages of a book or pamphlet. While misinformation is always a possibility, having quick access to coping strategies, places to find a therapist, and hotlines to call can be crucial for those facing urgent issues such as suicidal thoughts, domestic violence, or mental health crises.
  • Reduced stigma ─ As more and more information about mental health spreads around the world, people are becoming more accepting and less judgmental, even when they don’t understand. While the stigma surrounding mental health still exists today, it is much less prominent than in previous years and continues to lose its grip even more as time goes on.
  • Improved access to therapy ─ Online therapy is now an option for those who prefer not to speak with a therapist face-to-face in a traditional office setting. With online therapy, people can retain their privacy and feel comfortable as they receive support and guidance from their homes. Additionally, virtual therapy options make it easier for people who live in rural areas to get the mental health care they need.
  • Stronger sense of community ─ With the ability to text, call, or FaceTime someone at any hour of the day, getting support from friends and family members has never been easier. When a person is going through a challenging time, they can simply send their loved one a text message or call them to vent their frustrations and get advice. Online forums are also popular today, allowing people to exchange ideas, encouragement, coping strategies, and advice about mental health.

Although the idea of speaking with someone about mental health online might be intimidating, it can turn out to be very helpful for your situation and needs. Online therapy platforms like BetterHelp employ therapists who have been properly vetted to ensure they’re licensed and qualified to help people through mental health struggles.

Knowing you can trust your provider can make a big difference in your comfort and security when seeking help online. Thus, it’s vital to ensure that you’re doing your research and staying informed of your options as you pursue advice, guidance, or support virtually.

Drawbacks Of Technology For Mental Wellness


While technology presents many advantages for mental health, it can also have its drawbacks, such as:

  • Lowered self-esteem ─ People who frequent social media platforms may be more prone to comparison, whether to other people’s lives or looks. When other people seem to have it all together, it can cause feelings of inadequacy and lead to low self-esteem. Some may struggle with body image because of the beauty standards set forth by the media, feeling as if they’ll never measure up. Given that anyone can photoshop a picture these days, it’s easier than ever to focus on one’s flaws and wonder how other people look so perfect.
  • Social isolation ─ While social media and other forms of technology can keep people connected, it can also lead to isolation and loneliness. Some people may get addicted to video games, their phones, or the internet, choosing to stay inside instead of getting out and spending time with their friends or participating in clubs and sports. Likewise, even when people spend time face-to-face, they may be so caught up in their devices that they fail to truly connect.
  • More exposure to bullying ─ Bullying used to solely take place in person, often at school or even in the workplace. Now, bullies have leveraged the easy accessibility of technology to take their tactics a step further. Cyberbullying is prominent today, and people are exposed to everything from hateful text messages to inappropriate comments on their social media posts. Bullying can create depression, anxiety, and poor self-worth, even leading people to develop suicidal thoughts.

Harnessing The Positive Side Of Technology

As technology becomes more and more prominent, it’s vital to find ways to harness its positive side and reduce the impact of its unfavorable aspects. This can involve placing boundaries around your use of technology and remaining aware of its effects.

Everyone has different needs and limits, making it important to recognize when something is no longer serving your best interests. By finding ways to use technology to your advantage, you can ensure that it’s a useful addition to your life instead of an unhelpful distraction.

About Nina Smith