Insights

Richard Jones: 4.5 minute read

Mental health and wellbeing

Last week was mental health awareness week and whilst we celebrate this fact each and every year, we feel as though it is a 365 day a year consideration.

Mental health affects us all in ways that we are often times unaware. We need to prioritise our wellbeing as at the end of the day, our health is our number one concern. Without our health, we quite literally have nothing. This is something that we firmly believe as an organisation and are proud to support organisations and events that push this agenda forward. In addition to this, we recognise the health and wellbeing of our staff, as they are the lifeblood of OLM.

Mental health today Wales

Run by Pavilion Publishing, a sister organisation of OLM Systems, MHT Today Wales is a long-standing event. It is aimed at industry professionals and service users from across the statutory and independent mental health sectors.

This event was aimed at users in Wales but that doesn’t stop organisations from further afield from attending. Why? The aim of which is to aid and encourage progress in mental health services by provoking discussions, improving knowledge and championing the voices of those often left unheard.

In other words, if, like OLM, you are dedicated to making a difference to society and in this case, those affected by mental health, then you would have sought to be in attendance. Since day one, we have maintained than any great change in society emerges from discussion, where problems are heard and solutions debated. This is why we were in attendance.

Mental health today Wales – speakers and topics

As soon as you stop talking, society stops listening. To this end, speakers and workshops at this year’s event were geared around the following topics:

  • Children and schools
  • Mental health disorders
  • Therapy

All meaningful topics and it was great to be a part of the discussions, to see where pain points are emerging and talk about the potential change. To talk about what is needed, how it would be funded, what impact it would have and most importantly how it would enable person-centred care. We all know that change is needed across health and social care and we know what the issues are that are preventing this change.

We are dedicated to being change makers and creating solutions to the problems of today to enable a better tomorrow. We know that this is required but we also know that there are blocks in the road that need to be overcome before a change can be implemented. We know all of this and employ talented individuals to first and foremost, listen and then talk about the problem and see how we can assist.

Technology can be an enabler of addiction

We love technology and have based our entire organisation around it, sharing the benefits it can bring. In terms of cost, time and efficiencies, we are passionate about what technology can do for your organisation. This is something that we will not falter in and will continue long into the future, working with organisations, alongside our staff to enact lasting change.

With this comes a responsibility to our staff and those we work for. We realise that whilst technology can enable change, it can also bring with it certain addictive qualities. As of March this year, it was estimated that 4.5 billion smartphones existed in the world. This translates as around 63% of the world owning a mobile phone.

It is a staggering amount and is only continuing to grow at the most rapid of paces. With this rise in technology and knowledge has emerged a new problem to affect our mental health and that is smartphone addiction. Imparting knowledge to the next generation is incredibly important but doing so in a manner that manages potential addiction will be key.

What is technology addiction?

Technology addiction is a growing field of study, with many subsets emerging from within, such as smartphone addiction (Nomophobia). Nomophobia is the fear of being without your smartphone. This sounds extreme but estimates from America alone place a third of those with smartphones feeling some type of addictive tendencies towards their device.

A big judgement as to whether or not a parent has been successful in the post-smartphone era will be if their child has been taught the line between, technology and addiction. This will be increasingly important as the new gatekeeper of knowledge is the internet. The foot soldiers of this are Google, Microsoft and Facebook, with parents teaching children how to navigate the waters safely.

Internet safety in the wider picture is becoming increasingly important with children being taught about safeguarding online. So whilst the internet is a revolutionary invention in which to share knowledge and impart information, it needs to be respected. This is important for ourselves as we are a Software as A Service organisation. We need to keep our finger on the pulse of society in order to solve problems in the best manner possible to promote person-centred care for all.

How do you combat technology addiction?

Some of you may say that the easiest way to combat this is to use it less but sometimes that is not always applicable. What we like to prescribe is to always be respectful of technology. It is a dominant force in our lives and can easily suck us in but if we take breaks and use it appropriately, recognising triggers that can accentuate anxious tendencies, then we can maintain our symbiotic relationship with tech.

By creating our software to be cloud-native, available from anywhere and from any device, we can promote healthy working. This can be seen by taking breaks from our desks. We all know that prolonged sitting is not good for you but if you can take the notes with you, then why not walk around the office for ten minutes, reviewing, rather than at your desk?

You can also bulk together your case notes and upload them at the end of the day. The benefits of this being twofold:

  1. You can spend more time with the service user that needs help. Talk to them, rather than living vicariously through the notes
  2. You can give yourself a break from the screen and give your mental health and physical health a boost at the same time

Conclusion

We all need to prioritise our mental health. By not doing so, a simple frustration one day could turn into a full blown anxiety attack the next. Just like any disease, mental health mostly has a cause and effect process. Something will cause this to occur and one of those triggers can be technology.

We are so entwined with technology that you could argue, technology and in particular, smartphone addiction was inevitable. The important factor here is not that it has occurred, it is that we recognise this and can change our behaviour accordingly. We need to be harness technology in a manner that benefits our wellbeing and understanding of the world.

We fully respect technology and all of the benefits it brings but also be aware that we need to be conscious of how much time is put into these devices. We are passionate about creating software and services such as the ECLIPSE platform that gives time back. By enabling workers to be more efficient and continuing to join the discussion, we can enable change.