Coping with schizophrenia? Smart home tech can help

This is part of CNET’s “Tech Enabled” series about the role technology plays in helping the disability community.

I was sitting in an office in the back of the Centerstone mental health treatment facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Beside me were an old PC tower and a laptop, both cracked open, wires unspooled and hard drives lying under the flickering ceiling fluorescents like animal innards in a high school biology class.

Two men sat across from me: Lon Moore, a Centerstone client with schizoaffective disorder, and his peer support specialist, Dante Murray, a leader in the local mental health community, who also lives with schizophrenia. To both of them, this mess of circuitry and gadgetry had been instrumental to their recovery.

Dante teaches clients with mental illness basic computer literacy, which sparked Lon’s passion for tinkering – hence the deconstructed PCs. For Lon, despite battling paranoia that conventional wisdom says technology might trigger, designing basic gadgets has become therapeutic.

Personally, Dante has found the most helpful device in his recovery to be a smartwatch, which monitors his vitals, tracking sleep and exercise.

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I mainly use my iPhone to connect to this site for support.
I also use my phone as a medication reminder - setting multiple alarms when it’s time for my doses.
I also document when I took my meds.

My iPhone has a built in step tracker so it also makes walking more enjoyable.