In the computer age, people in need of mental healthcare are increasingly turning to their PCs rather than their traditional mental healthcare practitioners – and the computer is showing a healthy success rate.
The National Health Service in the UK recently endorsed a computer-based therapy program called Fearfighter which it says is effective for mild cases of depression and anxiety.
FearFighter has being made available nationwide on the internet as part of an innovative new Department of Health initiative to provide more treatment choice for patients and faster access to effective mental health services.
According to Stuart Toole, CEO of CCBT Limited, which developed the programme: “One in six adults experience common mental health difficulties during their lives, with over a million people on incapacity benefit due to mental illness.
"The shortage of therapists and resultant long waiting lists for treatment has led companies such as ours to identify alternative solutions. New technologies modelled on proven existing treatments offer new solutions to long standing challenges.”
Reports suggest that patients using the computer-based therapy fare as well as those going to human counsellers.