+44 (0)800 193 3277
[email protected]

Orchestrate Health is a private pay healthcare company and works outside of the NHS

Digital Tools for Men's Mental Health

Digital Tools for Men’s Mental Health

Revolutionising men’s mental health: are digital tools are making a difference?

Despite being less frequently diagnosed, men face significant mental health challenges. In the UK, suicide remains the leading cause of death for men under 50, with males accounting for 75% of all suicides, making them three times more likely to die by suicide than women1. These alarming statistics highlight the critical need to address men’s mental health, particularly given that they are often hesitant to seek professional help and support due to the stigma it carries2. It’s crucial for healthcare professionals to understand and actively engage in discussions about men’s mental health to break down these barriers.

However, digital mental health tools offer a promising solution to support men in managing their mental health. They provide discreet and accessible options that can help overcome the stigma and encourage men to seek help. From mental health apps and online support groups to virtual therapy and telehealth services, these solutions are reshaping the way men access and engage with mental health resources, offering a convenient and effective pathway to recovery.

The stigma around men’s mental health

The stigma of men’s mental health is deeply rooted in cultural and societal norms. Traditional expectations of masculinity often dictate that men should be strong, self-reliant, supporters and providers of their families, and able to manage their problems independently. This societal pressure leads many men to suffer in silence, as discussing their feelings is seen as a sign of weakness or a lack of control1.

For example, it has been shown that only 36% of all NHS referrals for psychological therapies are for males, highlighting the reluctance of men to seek help for their mental health issues1. Additionally, 52% of men would be concerned about taking time off work for mental health reasons, and 46% would feel embarrassed or ashamed to inform their employer about their mental health struggles1. The anxiety of being judged or seen as less ‘manly’ can lead to feelings of shame, embarrassment, isolation and even fear around seeking help2. These stigmas not only prevent men from seeking help but also exacerbate their conditions. This is particularly prevalent among discerning men in high-pressure careers, those in roles with a wealth trajectory or those managing the existing wealth of their families, where the expectation to provide and perform at a high level is paramount. The belief that they should “man up” or “get over it” diminishes the severity of their struggles and discourages them from reaching out for support.

Finding alternative ways to engage men in mental health care is crucial. Digital tools, such as mental health apps and virtual therapy platforms, offer discreet and accessible options that can help men overcome these barriers. By normalising the conversation around men’s mental health and integrating these innovative tools into practice, healthcare professionals can encourage men to seek the help they need.

The rise of digital tools in men’s mental health care

The landscape of mental health care is rapidly evolving, with digital mental health tools becoming increasingly prevalent. These innovations include mental health apps, virtual therapy platforms, and online support groups, all designed to make mental health resources more accessible and engaging.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, demonstrating their potential to meet the mental health needs of populations impacted by lockdowns and social distancing. Digital platforms now play a crucial role in the delivery of mental health care pathways in England, offering solutions that traditional service models often cannot3. They enable earlier interventions, remove geographical barriers and make services more accessible wherever one is across the globe, and provide support for individuals while they are on waiting lists for care or treatment3.

Mental health apps and wearable devices collect and analyse user data to detect early signs of distress, using machine learning algorithms to identify patterns in behaviour and emotions. This allows for proactive interventions and personalised coping strategies, helping prevent conditions from worsening. These tools also provide a discreet and convenient way for men, who may be initially reluctant to seek traditional help due to stigma they face or the nature of their job role, to access mental health support. By ensuring privacy and convenience, digital tools can be the catalyst men need to start their journey to mental wellness or complement ongoing psychiatric and therapeutic interventions.

While Orchestrate Health doesn’t offer these digital tools as a service provision, we recognise their importance and huge potential. As thought leaders in mental health care, we aim to highlight the benefits of integrating these tools into broader treatment strategies, enhancing accessibility and engagement for all. This blog will explore some of these innovative tools and how they can support men’s mental health.

Virtual reality therapies for mental health

Virtual reality (VR) therapies are an emerging and innovative approach in the realm of mental health treatment. By leveraging this immersive technology, VR therapies offer new avenues for addressing mental health issues, particularly for high-profile and discerning men who may be apprehensive about seeking traditional, in-clinic treatment. VR therapies can be undertaken in the privacy of one’s own home, eliminating the need for regular clinic visits and providing a discreet option for those concerned about how seeking help might be perceived by colleagues and friends.

The past two decades have seen VR evolve into a significant tool for the investigation, assessment, and management of medical and psychiatric disorders4. The immersive nature allows individuals to be put in uncomfortable or triggering situations in a controlled environment, leading to substantial improvements in their condition. And so virtual reality therapy has found to have been particularly effective in treating various phobias – such as acrophobia, social phobia, a fear of driving /flying, and agoraphobia – as well as conditions like PTSD, cognitive rehabilitation in adults with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), body image disturbances, and binge eating disorders4-8.

One of the standout applications of VR in mental health is its use in cognitive rehabilitation and addiction treatment4. By replicating scenarios where addictive behaviour is likely to occur, counsellors can observe and modify responses in real-time4. Additionally, VR has shown promise in helping individuals with ASD develop independence skills and deepen their social skills6, as well as providing particularly effective therapy for those with severe agoraphobia7. For instance, the gameChange VR trial has successfully helped patients with psychosis overcome intense fears of being outside, significantly improving their quality of life7.

And, while this therapy is not without its drawbacks9; for healthcare professionals, integrating VR into treatment strategies can enhance accessibility and engagement, especially for those who prefer modern, less conventional methods of support. By providing immersive experiences, VR mental health treatment can bridge the gap for men who are reluctant to seek help, offering a private and effective pathway to mental wellness.

Harnessing mental health apps for men

In recent years, mental health apps have gained traction as effective tools for supporting mental wellbeing. They can expand the availability and quality of mental health treatment, act as a cost-effective and scalable solution to address the mental health treatment gap, as well as supplement existing psychiatric treatment interventions10. These mobile mental health support platforms are particularly beneficial for men who may be apprehensive about seeking traditional treatment due to societal stigma. They offer discreet and convenient access to mental health care, making it easier for men to engage with a variety of resources without the perceived judgement associated with in-person visits. But, they can also serve as an initial gateway to one-on-one professional help.

Popular mental health apps for men can come in a variety of designs and functionalities10 tailored to address different psychological needs. Different apps could help users to better understand moods, learn and practise new coping skills, connect with others, as well as help with relaxation, mindfulness, improved sleep, managing feelings of anger, stress, sadness and self-harm. Many are free or low-cost, and users can be in control of how and where they are used11, but each could help to support men at any stage of their journey in seeking psychological intervention12. These apps often offer features such as mood tracking, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) exercises, mindfulness and meditation guides, and peer support networks. Some well-regarded examples are:

  1. Headspace and Calm: These apps provide guided meditation and mindfulness exercises designed to reduce stress and improve mental clarity. They are particularly useful for men in high-stress roles, such as executives or business owners, who need quick and effective ways to manage their mental health.
  • Moodfit and Moodpath: These apps help users track their moods and identify patterns that may be contributing to mental health issues. By understanding their emotional triggers, men can develop healthier coping strategies and better manage their mental health.
  • BetterHelp and Talkspace: These platforms offer virtual therapy sessions with licensed professionals, allowing men to receive professional support from the comfort of their own homes. This is ideal for those who are reluctant or too busy to visit a therapist in person.
  • Woebot and Youper: These AI-driven apps provide cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques through conversational interfaces, offering real-time mental health support and interventions.

The effectiveness of these apps lies in their accessibility, ease of habit forming and low effort expectancy13. Men can download them on their personal devices, ensuring privacy and control over their mental health journey. This discreet approach can help high-profile individuals – such as CEOs and public figures – engage with mental health support without the fear of stigma. Moreover, these apps can serve as a stepping stone towards more traditional therapeutic routes, opening the door to further professional help as needed.

Research has also shown that mobile mental health support can effectively complement psychiatric and therapeutic interventions. For instance, a meta-analysis10 found that smartphone-based treatments for depression and anxiety significantly reduced symptoms, particularly when combined with face-to-face or internet-based therapies. Additionally, mental health apps have also proven to be effective in managing schizophrenia, by providing psychosocial interventions that are often lacking in traditional clinical settings due to limited funding and adequately trained staff.

By integrating these digital tools into their practices, healthcare professionals can enhance the accessibility and engagement of mental health services, particularly for men who are less likely to seek help through conventional means. Encouraging the use of best mental health apps can bridge the gap in mental health care and promote long-term wellbeing.

How online support groups can support men’s mental health

Online support groups have become an invaluable resource for men seeking mental health support. Clinical practise guidelines have advised their use for those living with depression14. These virtual support communities offer a unique blend of anonymity, flexibility, and accessibility15-16, making them particularly beneficial for busy, high-profile or discerning individuals who might be apprehensive about traditional therapy and require more privacy than sessions generally offer.

One of the key advantages of online support groups for men is the anonymity they provide15-16. Men can join these groups without revealing their identities, which can significantly reduce the stigma associated with seeking mental health support. This anonymity allows men to share their experiences and feelings openly, without fear of judgment or repercussions. For some, this level of privacy is crucial; allowing them to engage with mental health support without risking their public image or professional reputation.

Online support groups facilitate both real-time conversations and asynchronous discussions, moderated by healthcare professionals, which ensures a safe and supportive environment14. These groups bring together individuals who are experiencing similar challenges, fostering a sense of community and mutual understanding. The shared experiences among group members often lead to feelings of empowerment, reduced isolation, and improved mental health outcomes15.

The benefits of these groups are numerous14-16:

  • Feeling less lonely, isolated, or judged: Men can connect with others who understand their struggles, which can be incredibly validating and comforting.
  • Reducing distress, depression, anxiety, or fatigue: Engaging in discussions with peers can help alleviate symptoms of mental health conditions.
  • Talking openly and honestly about feelings: The anonymous nature of online groups encourages honest and open communication.
  • Improving coping skills: Members can share strategies and tips for managing their mental health, which can be especially helpful for those dealing with chronic conditions.
  • Gaining a sense of empowerment, control, or hope: Being part of a supportive community can instil a sense of agency and optimism.
  • Getting practical feedback about treatment options: Group members can share their experiences with different treatments, providing valuable insights.

For busy professionals, the flexibility of online support groups is a significant advantage15-16. Men can participate in these groups at their convenience, fitting sessions around demanding schedules, meaning that even the busiest individuals can find the time to engage with mental health support. Moreover, these groups can serve as a bridge to more traditional forms of one-on-one therapy, where participation in online support groups can lead to normalisation of living with mental health challenges, and therefore destigmatising the seeking of professional help. The safe, non-judgmental environment of these groups can help men realise that their feelings are normal17 and that seeking help is a positive step towards recovery.

Anonymous mental health support15-16 is a crucial aspect of these online groups. For men struggling with anxiety about seeking help, the ability to participate anonymously can be a game-changer. It allows them to take the first steps towards mental wellness without the added pressure of public scrutiny.

Telehealth support for men’s mental wellbeing

Telehealth for mental health has emerged as a crucial innovation, providing accessible, flexible, and discreet mental health support. Using technology to deliver healthcare services remotely, telehealth includes videoconferencing for therapy sessions and text messaging or online chat platforms for communication between clients and providers18.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of virtual mental health services19-20, demonstrating their effectiveness and convenience. Traditionally, seeking mental health support meant scheduling appointments, traveling to clinics, and sitting in waiting rooms. Now, telehealth allows individuals to access care from the comfort of their own homes. This is particularly beneficial for men who are busy, high-profile, or apprehensive about traditional treatment settings. Telehealth services offer several significant advantages for both clients and providers18:

  • Increased comfort and convenience: Being able to attend therapy sessions from home can help clients feel more relaxed and open during their appointments. This comfortable environment often leads to more effective therapy sessions, as clients may be more willing to discuss sensitive issues.
  • Flexibility: Telehealth provides flexibility in scheduling, allowing men to fit therapy sessions into their busy lives without the need for travel. This is especially useful for those in demanding professions who may find it challenging to make time for in-person appointments.
  • Increased anonymity: The personal view and stigma attached to visiting a mental health professional can be a significant barrier for many men. With telehealth, sessions can be conducted in a private setting; this increased anonymity can encourage men to seek help without fear of judgment.
  • No geographical/physical restriction: For those living in remote areas or with limited mobility, the technology also bridges this gap, offering access to specialists who may not be locally available. This expanded reach ensures that more individuals can receive the support they need, regardless of their location.

By using teletherapy for men, healthcare professionals can provide a modern, accessible, and effective solution to address mental health needs. It makes seeking help easier, but also supports a more consistent and ongoing engagement with mental health care; ultimately promoting better patient outcomes.

Innovative technologies in men’s mental health – the future

The future of mental health care is being reshaped by innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and wearable devices, which complement traditional psychiatric and therapeutic interventions.

AI in Mental Health Care

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionising the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders, often via means unavailable to human therapists21. By analysing data from various sources – such as medical records, social media posts, and wearable devices – AI can analyse and combine datasets to identify patterns and help to diagnose mental health conditions22. This technology offers three main applications in mental health care23:

  • Personal sensing: AI monitors digital data to detect behavioural changes associated with mental health issues. This continuous monitoring can help in early diagnosis and intervention.
  • Natural language processing: AI analyses language use in conversations, emails, and social media posts to detect signs of mental health issues like depression or anxiety. It can track changes over time to monitor patient progress.
  • Chatbots: These AI-driven tools simulate conversations with patients in a similar way in which practitioners do24, to detect mental health issues and suggest therapies or lifestyle changes. They provide an accessible and anonymous way for men to seek help without the stigma of visiting a therapist.

Wearable Technologies

Wearable devices – such as smartwatches, bracelets, rings and fitness trackers – are gaining popularity for their ability to monitor physical and mental health indicators. Using small sensors and built-in AI algorithms, they offer real time insight into personal health, and so can come with several benefits25:

  • Stress monitoring: Wearables track heart rate variability (HRV) and galvanic skin response to detect stress levels in real time. Studies25 have shown that these devices can identify stress with up to 99% accuracy within 20 seconds.
  • Managing anxiety and depression: Wearables can monitor sleep patterns, physical activity, and social interactions to provide insights that help manage anxiety and depression. They can set reminders for medication, suggest mindfulness activities, and track progress towards mental health goals.
  • Emergency support: In cases of acute stress or anxiety, wearables can alert designated contacts or healthcare providers, ensuring timely intervention.

Wearable devices provide valuable data and insights that can help individuals make positive lifestyle changes, improving both physical and mental health26. By offering real-time feedback and personalised support, these technologies empower men to take control of their mental wellness.

It is useful to note that there are a myriad of other state of the art technologies coming through as research into mental health treatment progresses.

Looking Ahead

The increasing volume of data generated by these devices, coupled with the ability to upload it to centralised servers, offers significant opportunities. These tools facilitate early diagnosis, monitor progression of conditions, and predict potential relapses; data that provides physicians with objective insights into patient wellbeing between visits. As more data is collected, machine learning models may also be able to predict critical events such as suicide attempts, depressive relapses, psychotic episodes, or panic attacks. Utilising these predictive tools could enable more timely interventions, whether through digital means or referrals to hospital-based care27.

By embracing these innovative technologies, healthcare professionals can offer more comprehensive and personalised care, particularly for men who may be hesitant to seek traditional mental health support.

Integrating digital tools in men’s mental health care

Digital tools are revolutionising the way we approach men’s mental health care. From virtual reality therapies to mental health apps, online support groups, and telehealth services, these innovations offer discreet, accessible, and effective ways to support men’s mental health; making it easier for men to seek the help they need.

Digital mental health solutions are essential to complement traditional psychiatric and therapeutic interventions. The potential for these technologies to provide early intervention, continuous monitoring, and personalised support is immense. They can bridge the gap for those who are reluctant to seek in-person help, providing a critical lifeline to mental health resources.

We encourage you to share your experiences and thoughts on using digital tools for mental health. If you’re a healthcare professional, explore these tools and consider how they might be able to be incorporated into your practice.

 For more information and resources, visit our website.


  1. https://mentalhealth-uk.org/mens-mental-health/
  2. https://sprashadmd.com/why-dont-men-talk-about-their-mental-health/ 
  3. https://www.nhsconfed.org/publications/maximising-potential-digital-mental-health 
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4361984/
  5. https://d1wqtxts1xzle7.cloudfront.net/54258050/MIM_0161_Riva-libre.pdf?1503847242=&response-content-disposition=inline%3B+filename%3DApplications_of_virtual_environments_in.pdf&Expires=1717772792&Signature=Gd64eX04Cou26lVH4Onl0OZbnvRORBunBMwoc5AuHTHUxRVM4EKB2UELJk2pZhlr9jVD3UOb80dtB4gg8NZW-J7ZtcBxHHjAz9g5ZexN~MwzTadQbJ2xBW1fD4ja5h4ZpFWgA192~6YiiPmm1htt5ZDHvPc8J2cftHNfKicQV-IW3XkOspKCedD338px5cBFtB23HhOKuyYFfDkv2LssoF0XKEejT6EFKlwvYpGLTq~3Vw-MZCrn3BbxOQg4Q8khuUSULhHXqvCH25nOWYOROZH9PUHMJBj4bcO1awa17izLIfY8Klbz1bJT27NWtD9k1guB44Sro7~CZYU-9KaX4A__&Key-Pair-Id=APKAJLOHF5GGSLRBV4ZA
  6. https://digital.csic.es/bitstream/10261/307944/1/fromconsci.pdf
  7. https://www.gmmh.nhs.uk/news/breakthrough-success-of-study-using-virtual-reality-vr-to-treat-mental-health-problems-trialled-in-manchester-5524/ 
  8. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-49880915
  9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0003687002000200
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5897664/
  11. https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/looking-after-your-mental-health-online/mental-health-apps/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3926903/ 
  13. https://mental.jmir.org/2015/1/e10/
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23252357/ 
  15. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/support-groups/art-20044655 
  16. https://online.wlv.ac.uk/the-benefits-of-mental-health-support-groups/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4607398/
  18. https://www.columbiapsychiatry-dc.com/counseling-blog/benefits-of-using-telehealth-for-mental-health/
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8222700/ 
  20. https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-022-04385-1 
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10230127/ 
  22. https://netecr.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/96df4-walsh2cribeiro2c26franklin2cproofversion28mlandsuiattemptprediction29.pdf
  23. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352250X2030049X
  24. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0706743719828977 
  25. https://www.htworld.co.uk/news/power-of-wearable-technology-for-enhancing-mental-health-and-wellbeing/
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10490605/
  27. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/power-digital-tools-transform-mental-health-care-depression-anxiety/
We are here to help

Contact us to find the care you need today.

+44 (0)800 193 3277 or
[email protected]


Contact us today

If you would like to know more about how treatment could benefit you or your loved one please submit your details below.

+44 (0)800 193 3277 [email protected]

Orchestrate Health is a private pay healthcare company and therefore works outside of the NHS and CAMHS provision.

Professional Memberships

Our professionals work alongside respected industry-specific organisations

Orchestrate Health is a trading name of Addcounsel Limited which is registered by the CQC.