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What Are Mental Health Apps And How Can They Help?

Mary-Lauren O’Crowley, MA, NCC

Mental health apps are software tools designed to facilitate you regarding your mental health and well-being. They are easily accessible on your smartphone or mobile devices and focus on improving different facets of your mental health. These apps are designed to work on a wide range of areas associated with your mental well-being like stress management, improving mood, relaxation, enhancing sleep, reviving your thoughts, etc. Mental health apps offer you with therapeutic activities, self-help tools, and an easy access to reliable treatment by a licensed mental healthcare provider. They have a lot of other advantages as well, some of which are described below:

  1. Accessibility
  2. Anonymity 
  3. Convenience 
  4. Engagement 

Mental health apps are super convenient to use. They can easily be accessed via phone and serve as a great resource for people who struggle accessing other options. Moreover, all the setup of the app is private and secure. You can easily find information relevant to you and access a convenient treatment without any security or privacy issues. These apps can be operated anytime, anywhere and present a great option for people who are always on the go. Last but not the least, these apps are very user-engaging. They provide you with a fun way to learn about and improve your mental well-being. You can set daily reminders and notifications to keep you updated and engaged.     

How can you monitor your mental health using these apps?

Nowadays, people are increasing the narrative around mental health, thus leading to the accessibility of mental health support. Depression, anxiety, mood swings, sleep disorders, and stress are prominent among the general population; thus, mental health and wellness apps allow you to track your particular symptoms and even suggest useful tools and techniques to counter them. For instance, if you struggle with anxiety, then such apps could provide you with informational resources to help you identify the times when you feel anxious, what may have triggered said anxiety, and ways that you might mitigate that anxiety. These types of apps can prove incredibly useful in helping both the individual and their healthcare provider track thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to mood and affect.

Some critically acclaimed mental health apps

Calm is a meditation app by a software company in San Francisco, California. It is available on both, Android and iPhone devices and features meditation tools and sleep aids. The meditation tools offer breathing exercises, daily meditation programs, and guided & unguided sessions for meditation. The sleep aids include sleep stories that help adults to have a sound sleep.   

Reach out Breathe is an app exclusively designed to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. It encourages the user to slow down breathing. Thus, allowing the heart rate to slow, which then increases the feelings of calmness and peace. The app uses simple visuals and measures your breathing and heart rate using the camera in your phone. It notifies you when there is an onset of physical manifestation of stress and anxiety so that you can address them immediately.

Beyond Blue app is a product created by an Australian organization working to support mental health and well-being. In includes support programs to address issues like anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.

Finally, Daylio is a mobile app for tracking your mood and everyday activities. It provides feedback and reports revealing the connection between the activities you do and your mood. This allows you to identify what activities or experiences lead you to feel better in order to encourage you to engage in them more consistently.

If you or someone you know would like to jump-start your mental health journey, reach out to our intake specialists at Symmetry Counseling today, and they’ll connect you with one of our licensed counselors.

 References:

https://healthinformatics.uic.edu/blog/a-guide-to-mental-health-apps/

https://au.reachout.com/tools-and-apps/reachout-breathe

https://medium.com/@helpfuldad/heres-how-i-m-using-the-daylio-app-to-ensure-my-life-is-in-balance-i-m-on-372-days-and-counting-336b960a34ee

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