How to design a website that helps users with mental health issues

Mental health is a cause of worldwide concern, with depression now considered to be one of the most common disabilities affecting people’s ability to work. Often labelled as “invisible” illnesses, mental health problems can affect anyone.

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A growing problem

According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in six people suffer from some form of mental health problem every week, making this a figure that simply cannot be ignored.

People with mental health issues need to be taken into consideration when building a website as there are features that can make browsing a website more comfortable for them. Stress and anxiety play a great part in a number of mental health conditions, so anything that lessens this stress is worthy of consideration.

Web designers already take into account a number of disabilities that could affect a visitor’s ability to browse a website. Features such as alternative text for images allow visually challenged web visitors to make the most of a website’s features, and now there are calls for people with mental issues to be offered a more engaging and fulfilling online experience, too.

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Clear and easy-to-understand website interface

The term “mental health problems” covers a wide range of disorders including anxiety and depression, but one common feature is the inability to keep thoughts well-ordered. Creating websites with clean and clear lines without extraneous details allows users to find their way to the information that they are seeking with minimal fuss. Adopting clear navigation with an intuitive interface helps people with underlying disorders find their way to the information they want, and it also has knock-on benefits for all users as the simplification of a website makes it easier for everyone to find their way around.

Most good website design teams should be familiar with all current accessibility options, but you should check from the beginning of your project that your design team is accustomed to creating fully accessible websites. Choosing a Drupal design agency can be a good option, as the open-source platform is fully customisable with a range of accessibility features. Companies such as Drupal design agency Website Express have wide experience in creating functional and accessible sites without blowing your budget.

Remember that every feature designed to make your website accessible to everyone improves the experience for all visitors.

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