Yesterday’s Optimist View discussed the importance of mental health resources for first responders. Today we bring you a story with a similar theme from the US Air Force which is using an online mental health platform to make these services more widely available.
The Air Force already offers resilience training and access to therapy, but their newly engaged platform, NeuroFlow, makes mental health resources more accessible and tracks users’ progress to flag signs that a participant is exhibiting significant signs of distress.
The platform tracks fitness, sleep, well-being, loneliness, depression, alcohol use, and anxiety. So far, 600 security force members have signed up for the program across 14 bases. In addition to tracking health data, NeuroFlow also offers resources such as guided meditations, journaling, and video and written resources.
The platform compiles this data and creates an electronic health record to spot any mental health red flags. So far, 12 users have been flagged for potential candidates for additional help and in one instance, the platform helped prevent an at-risk user from harming themself.
To protect privacy, users can register anonymously for the platform, and health data is only shared with healthcare professionals, not supervisors or peers. If someone is flagged as potentially at-risk, they receive a confidential call from a mental health specialist. According to initial data, 90 percent of users have completed at least one mental health resiliency activity on the app.
Many members of the military witness traumatic events that could result in increased depression or anxiety. Over the past two years alone, suicide rates among active military service members have gone up 15 percent. NeuroFlow makes mental health resources accessible and convenient, plus, they’re changing the way military leaders and members think about mental health. Destigmatizing mental health issues and making a mental health check-in a part of everyone’s daily routine helps normalize mental health discussions and resources.