A study on text-messaging intervention, reveals that it can be a safe and feasible technique to provide support to people with serious mental illness.
Published in Psychiatric Services, ninety-one per cent of participants who volunteered to participate in the research found the rate of text-messaging more desirable , and 94 per cent indicated that it made them have a better state of mind.
“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,” explained 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,” the professor added.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many people’s schedules are going topsy-turvy, which may prevent individuals with mental illness from having regular access to a therapist.
“Texting can help bridge this gap, by providing a means for mental health services to be continuously delivered. Text-messaging psychotherapy is an excellent match for the current environment, as it provides asynchronous contact with a mental health therapist while increasing the amount of contact that an individual can have,” explained Hudenko.
To carry out the study, the research team assessed the impact of messaging as an add-on to an assertive community treatment program. Through this program, those with serious mental health issues have a team specifically designed that helps them with life skills, such as finding a job and housing, managing medications.
As per reports in Hindustan Times, the researchers are planning to study the impact of a messaging intervention in mental health on a much larger scale.