Mental health and technology blog

According to mental health charity Mind, one in four of us will have a mental health issue sometime in our lives. Unfortunately there is still a stigma surrounding people with mental health conditions but there are lots of ways that technology can help you work effectively.Mental Health image courtesy of http://www.amenclinics.com/

 

Frequently asked questions about mental health and technology
 

I find it really difficult to stay organised and I seem to try to do all my tasks at once.  How can I work more effectively?

Software such as Listastic can help you write lists of tasks that you need to do and more importantly be able to prioritise them into different categories.

So for example you could have a list of tasks you need to do today, in the next couple of days, or in the next week. If you have an Apple watch Listastic will work with this too.
 

Due to my mental health condition I find that I can easily become fixated on getting work finished.  I need to be able to “take time out”. How can I do this?

Sometimes it is hard to take a break.  There are a number of apps and programs which force you to just take a little bit of time out. These were originally designed to help people who are susceptible to Repetitive Strain Injury but they work just as well as a “break reminder”.

Examples are Stand Up! This is an Ipad app and if you have a Windows device have a look at some software called Workrave.
 

I have ADHD and I seem to spend a lot of time on the computer without getting much done.  This is starting to be an issue at work. Is there anything that can help me?

It is easy to sit in front of the computer and get distracted. For example you could be spending lots of times going through your emails when you should be finishing off an important document.Person using smartphone

You might find it really useful to analyse all of the time that you spend on your computer. Software such as Rescuetime might be useful as you can start to learn how to use your time more effectively.

 

Case study: Amelia feels more in control of her work

Amelia works in the banking industry. She felt that her mental health was impacting on her work and she felt that her productivity was suffering as a result.  She went and spoke to her manager who suggested that Amelia completed a Clear Talents profile so her manager could get a better understanding of how her mental health affected her at work.

When her manager looked through the results she wondered if technology might help. She contacted AbilityNet and we carried out an assessment on Amelia to see if we could suggest better working strategies and software apps that might help her out.

With our help, Amelia is able to effectively manage her day to say activities in a far more structured way so she manages to complete one task before moving onto another. She is also able to take breaks without worrying about her work output.  She now feels more confident in her current role and is looking at promotion within her current organisation.

Amelia has recently become a mentor to other employees who have mental health issues because she realises that using technology within her work can not only benefit her, but more importantly benefit her company.

How can we help?

AbilityNet provides a range of services to help disabled people and older people.

  • Call our free Helpline on 0800 269 545 and our friendly, knowledgeable staff will offer one-to-one help.
  • If you are in work your employer has a responsibility to make Reasonable Adjustments which include helping you with invisible illnesses. Find out more about how we help disabled in the workplace.
  • Arrange a home visit from one of our amazing AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers. They can come to your home, or help you over the phone.
  • We have a range of factsheets which talk in detail about technology that might help you, which can be downloaded for free. You may find our factsheets talking about voice recognition and keyboard alternatives useful.
  • My Computer My Way is our free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tables and smartphones.

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