Adaptive aids are the assistive technologies used to support people with mental health conditions such as memory impairments, autism, cognitive disabilities, and many others. Adaptive aids include appliances, tools, or devices that assist mental health patients in employment, education, self-care, and living independently.
What is an adaptive device?
Any tool or aid ranging merely from a diary to telecommunication aids can be an adaptive device; for instance, hearing aids, lists, calendars, schedules, therapeutic alarms, reminders, distracters, symptom trackers, or many others.
Who should use adaptive aids?
Adaptive aids can be quite beneficial for any person with mental health conditions that can compromise cognition, decision-making, memory, or executive functioning. The conditions include but are not limited to:
- Social phobias
- Anxiety and Depression
- Mood and Bipolar disorders
- Borderline personality disorder
- Eating disorders
- Stress disorders, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Intellectual disabilities due to brain injuries.
How do adaptive aids help patients with mental illnesses?
Adaptive aids help people with mental illnesses through a variety of ways such as,
- Schedulers or Reminders provide cognitive support to patients with memory impairment or executive dysfunction.
- Mood trackers support self-management therapies in patients with mood/behavioral issues.
- Safety devices/aids provide preventive support to patients with high self-harm risks.
- Communication devices help people with speaking issues share their thoughts.
- Distracter aids reduce agitation and anxiety.
- Music devices and audio files block or manage auditory hallucinations in schizophrenic patients.
- Wheelchairs or mobility aids provide mechanical support for patients with physical symptoms.
Consequently, patients with mental health issues can have access to education and employment opportunities. Moreover, they can maintain relationships and manage self-management more efficiently. Instead of depending on others for self-care, mental health patients can perform their daily living activities.
Recommendations of WHO and United Nations:
Due to high costs, less availability, and lack of awareness, only 1 in 10 people have access to adaptive aids and assistive devices. In most countries, adaptive aids are usually not included in health and welfare programs. That is why United Nations has added access to adaptive aids in Universal Health Coverage (UHC) plan for sustainable development. Under this plan, any person with mental health issues should have access to assistive devices.
Similarly, World Health Organization (WHO) has initiated a flagship program called Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) with a key objective of Live with dignity. Under this initiative, people with mental health issues would benefit from access to assistive technologies.
Considering the current situation of global mental health, our mental health specialists are striving hard to preserve and promote mental health.
Should you need any assistance regarding mental health issues, feel free to contact us or visit us.