Can the use of Text messaging in counseling be effective for mental health?

A new study has found that a ‘text-messaging-based intervention’ can prove to be a safe, clinically promising, and feasible tool to care for people with serious mental illnesses. According to Science Daily, while clinic-based services may not be able to meet patient needs as adequately — for many reasons including limited hours, difficulty accessing care and cost — a research team has recently investigated the impact of texting intervention as an ‘add-on’ to a mental health treatment program, as opposed to one without texting.

It has been found that while 91 per cent of participants found the text-messaging acceptable, 94 per cent said it made them feel better, and 87 per cent said they would recommend it to a friend. The study was published in the journal Psychiatric Services.

“This study is very exciting because we saw real improvement in those who utilized the text messaging-based intervention on top of normal care. This was true for individuals with some of the most serious forms of mental illness,” co-author William J Hudenko, a research assistant professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth.

 “The results are promising, and we anticipate that people with less severe psychopathology may even do better with this type of mobile intervention.”

It is true that in the ongoing pandemic people’s schedules have been turned upside down. It has also caused a lot of stress and aggravated certain mental health issues. And while in lockdown people may not find it easy to schedule a face-to-face session with their therapist, the study researchers said they can use texting to bridge the gap.  For more information you can call Crossroads Counseling at 989-652-0764 or visit our website at www.crcounseling.org


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