Treatment on the go? Busy lives and debilitating stress can so easily get in the way of seeking treatment when you need it most. While time away from technology is important, our smartphones cam be an important portable tool in finding accessible help.
With a recent surge of interest in the research and development of mental health apps, experts have been finding value in these programs, especially used in conjunction with in-person treatment. In making mental health support accessible anytime, anywhere, apps have been found to have significant potential in delivering high-efficacy mental health assistance particularly in light of the global shortage of psychiatrists, the growing hustle of daily life and the difficulty in bridging the mental health treatment gap in deliverability and accessibility, according to a study published by the US National Library of Medicine.
Weighing in the growing mobile health trend, several outlets including ABC News, Huffington Post and Medical News Today have compiled their top picks for mental health support apps to help the approximately 48.3 million adults faced with a mental health condition in the United States. Now in consultation with our professional experts, The Collective has compiled a definitive list of suggested mobile mental health apps for daily use to enhance well-being:
MoodTools | Depression Aid App
MoodTools is a free app targeting depression utilizing a depression symptom questionnaire, a thought diary, a suicide safety plan, meditation guide videos and more. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, this provides psychoeducation about risk factors and psychosocial approaches to treatment. It is easy to use, personalized, interactive and effective in treating symptoms of depression in teens and adults.
FearTools | Anxiety Aid App
Another free app, FearTools targets anxiety utilizing an anxiety questionnaire to assess symptoms over time, a customizable paced breathing tool, a thought diary as a cognitive therapy technique and more.
CBT-i Coach | Insomnia Aid App
Developed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, CBT-i Coach was originally created for veterans engaged in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (or CBT-i) as an app to guide through the process of developing positive sleep routines. Also used for anyone experiencing insomnia, CBT-i Coach teaches strategies to alleviate symptoms of insomnia with proven personalized improvement from the therapy on symptoms and the development of sleep habits.
It’s Done! | Memory and Anxiety Aid App
Designed to lessen or eliminate the feeling of uncertainty that often comes with a routine task, It’s Done is laid out in an easy-to-use checklist format to help instantly confirm whether or not you’ve completed a routine task. The app assists in managing and organizing your tasks, marking completed tasks with a bold checkmark to improve memory confidence, and tracking past, present and future tasks from turning off the stove to taking your medication.
Virtual Hope Box | Suicide Prevention App
Designed for use as an accessory to treatment, the Virtual Hope Box is a smartphone app containing simple tools centered around coping, relaxation, distraction and positive thinking. Featuring distraction methods such as Sudoku puzzles and word searches paired with relaxing meditation guides, controlled breathing techniques and positive encouragement, Virtual Hope Box assists in coping with negative thoughts, suicidal ideation and immediate urges to harm oneself. A recent study found that the app was more effective than print materials in improving the veterans’ abilities to cope with unpleasant emotions, making it a powerful tool to have on the go.
- C. Fogarty