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Technology meets people.

It’s here, it’s there, and it’s everywhere. A google search would yield millions of sites but none that have gained recognition among consumers, at least in my opinion. I know there all sorts of information about mental illness and there are chat groups and forums. How can a site about mental illness be utilized to actively help people when they need help the most? How can it provide a therapeutic environment without a licensed professional? How can this site reach out to such a vast group of withdrawn people and connect them to each other? How can such a site help these people open up and tell their stories?

I am interested in your input from a technology point of view? Please let me know if such a site already exists?

thanks

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Comment by Angela Crane on April 28, 2009 at 7:11am
Brain, thanks for your response and I look forward to hearing some of your ideas. I think it would be an excellent focus area for upcoming research.
Comment by Brian Mahony on April 27, 2009 at 8:47pm
Angela, great topic. When it comes to mental health, the Internet has the potential to be the best "health tech" advancement. It has the potential to link people together through social networking and pair them with experts who can help. It can help them overcome loneliness and isolation and show them there are others like them struggling with similar problems. And it can (and should) give them a treasure trove of information at their fingertips. But why is that not happening as you point out?

The big problems I see are privacy and legal ones. Because of the stigma attached to mental illness, people may not want to open up the way they might talk about sports injuries, child bearing, or other health realted topics. Also, I wonder if the liability issues have scared away potential Internet sites that could organize this community in a helpful way. I do have some ideas for you though, and will contact you offline to chat. Trender Research will be kicking off our Health Technology coverage soon and this could be a good focus area for upcoming research.

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