Cognitive training has proven to be an effective intervention for addressing mental health issues.
The need for more focused mental health services and treatments is as obvious as could be at this point in time. Mental health issues have reached epidemic levels across the United States and in many other places around the world. So, any possible technique that could be used to improve the situation is worth exploring, which leads to the discussion of how cognitive training could play a role.
There is a constant need for evidence-based mental health care in the greater healthcare system. When someone comes into a healthcare facility with a physical health problem – like a broken arm – there are evidence-based treatments for how that condition will be treated. X-rays will be taken, a cast will likely be applied, and some measures will be taken to make the individual more comfortable as they heal.
Mental health is not nearly as well-defined. There is significant demand for cost-effective, useful solutions that can be deployed at scale, but such breakthroughs have been hard to come by. One approach that may hold some promise is focused cognitive training that is delivered via computer to help as many people as possible get the direction and guidance they need during a difficult time of life.
There have been some positive signs when it comes to computerized cognitive training programs, but the results haven’t been as conclusive as would be necessary to have these techniques used more widely and aggressively. If the investment is going to be made in deploying such techniques throughout the country and making them available to as many people as possible, it will need to be scientifically proven that the techniques are going to be effective.
Ultimately, these kinds of focused mental health treatments will not only need to work well to be used on a widespread basis, but they’ll also need to be scalable in a way that provides access at a scope that can make a meaningful dent in the problems that are being faced. While cognitive training may be able to be administered through computer software, it’s likely that professional support will still be required, and having enough professionals available throughout the country could prove tricky, at least in the short term. Given the attention that is being placed on this and other mental health treatment options, it seems likely that meaningful progress will be made on the issues that are holding cognitive training back currently, and hopefully a brighter future is in store.
Is cognitive training alone going to solve the mental health crisis in the years to come? Almost certainly not. But that doesn’t mean it should be ignored as a potential solution that can help individuals get back on track in life and find themselves in a better space to enjoy their time with family and friends. It will be interesting to see how cognitive training programs evolve in the years to come to provide help to the people who need it most.