8 developing behavioral health trends in 2022

The growing mental health crisis across the United States has spurred the development of behavioral health treatment, according to Psych Central's medical affairs team.

New studies, treatments, science and increasingly accessible care have brought certain aspects of behavioral health to the spotlight. Here are eight topics to watch: 

Trauma-informed care 

Trauma-informed care is a type of therapy focused on addressing trauma, which according to a study by Adverse Childhood Experiences, has affected 61 percent of adults in the United States. This type of therapy focuses on working through the patient's individual trauma using multiple types of therapy and is expected to grow in popularity throughout the year, according to  Nathaniel Ivers, PhD, the department chair at Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Wake Forest University. 

Blood tests for mental illness

A blood test developed to identify biological markers for mood disorders was developed in April 2021 by the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. Though still in early development, these blood tests will continue to be studied this year.

Psychedelic therapy 

Recent research suggests that psychoactive drugs such as psilocybin, MDMA, LSD and ketamine can be effective in the treatment of certain mental health conditions. Scientists are furthering studies to see their therapeutic value.

Social media boundaries

Research on the negative effects of social media has spread to the world of behavioral health. Practitioners are working on measuring the impact it has on mental health and developing methods to manage the negative effects of platforms on both adolescents and adults. 

Artificial intelligence

AI technology is being developed to detect the symptoms of mental health issues using speech and motion sensors. According to specialists, research is being conducted into the effect the development of the technology could have on the industry.

Telemental health

Telehealth has been an innovation in the healthcare industry in response to the pandemic. Around 60 percent of mental health practitioners are currently only offering teletherapy, according to clinical psychologist Matthew Boland, PhD.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a noninvasive method used to stimulate the brain, treating a variety of mental health conditions. The use of TMS is on the rise in 2022 after the FDA approved the treatment to combat conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Virtual reality

The FDA recently authorized a virtual reality system to be used in the place of opioid prescriptions to treat chronic pain. As the technology becomes more accessible, the treatment has the potential to treat various other mental health conditions. 

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