Guest Post: Apps for Mental Health by Patrick

appsThe coronavirus crisis is testing a lot of people’s mental health. The following is a list of mental health apps that are free to download and use! Here is a sampling of apps to help boost mental health. A couple address addiction specifically, but most focus on anxiety, depression, and stress.

 

There are many more options than the ones listed below. None of these are meant to replace therapy or medication, but they may make a good supplement to treatment. 

Addiction

  • reSET-O. Free. Apple and Google Play.

This prescription cognitive behavioral therapy app is designed to be a supplement to and not a replacement for treating opioid use disorder. Paired with other therapies such as contingency management and medication-assisted treatment (MAT), it’s intended to keep people in outpatient care.

  • HipoChat. Free. iPhone and Google Play.
    This mobile app lets people in recovery keep in contact with the individuals who help them stay sober — designated relatives, friends, support group members. It allows recovering people to sound the alarm when in crisis mode. People may also use it to schedule online treatment sessions.

 

Depression, Anxiety and Stress

  • AnxietyCoach. Mayo Clinic. Free. iPhone only.
    This self-help tool is designed to help reduce a number of anxiety causes, including OCD. It includes self-tests, lets users customize a plan to address fears and track anxiety levels, and has a library of activities that may help reduce worry.  
  • Breathe2Relax. National Center for Telehealth & Technology. Free. Apple and Google Play.
    This stress management tool offers how-tos and breathing exercises to curb and overcome anxiety.
  • eMoods. Free. In-app purchases. Apple and Google Play. 

Users track moods by logging their bipolar, depression, anxiety or other mood disorder symptoms. The goal is to document highs and lows and learn triggers. Users may email monthly reports to their therapist to help monitor progress and shape treatment.

  • MoodTools. Free. In-app purchases. Apple and Google Play.

This app focuses primarily on depression. Users can keep a thought diary, track moods, find ideas for activities, access internet resources, take quizzes, and develop a safety plan in case of crisis.

  • Sanvello. Free. In-app purchases. Apple and Google Play.

This popular app aims to help people suffering from stress, anxiety and depression. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been offering free premium access. (Premium otherwise may be covered by insurance.) The app focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation, offers mood trackers and assessment quizzes, and allows members to connect with a community of other members.

  • T2 Mood Tracker. National Center for Telehealth & Technology. Free. Apple and Google Play.

This app lets users monitor their moods, specifically focusing on six conditions: anxiety, stress, depression, brain injuries, PTSD, and general well-being. Users can also customize preloaded scales as they track moods and keep a diary of events and medication. The information may be shared with health care providers to identify triggers and shape treatment.

  • notOK. Free. Apple and Google Play.

This free app can offer fast help in suicidal situations. Users register and confirm their email and mobile contact information, then choose up to five contacts they trust in case of emergency. (Contacts must accept the invitation.) If the user is vulnerable, they tap the app’s red notOK button and it alerts everyone on the list, giving a location. Contacts can call, text, or track down the at-risk individual. Once the crisis is passed, the user pushes the green feeling better button to give everyone an update.

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • CPT Coach. Department of Veterans Affairs. Free. Apple and Google Play.

This app is designed as a treatment companion for patients and therapists to use to work through PTSD using cognitive processing therapy. It includes educational tools, a symptom tracker, homework assignments, and appointment reminders. 

  • PE Coach. Department of Veterans Affairs. Free. Apple and Google Play.

This incorporates prolonged exposure therapy to help with PTSD. The app can be used to record treatment sessions for the patient to review later as they work on homework assigned by the therapist. Tolerance-building and stress-reduction exercises, a progress tracker, and an appointment and assignment reminder are also included.

  • PTSD Coach. Department of Veterans Affairs. Free. Apple and Google Play.

This app teaches users the symptoms of PTSD and coping skills. It also helps locate mental health care providers. Stress management tools, symptom trackers, and the capacity to customize coping tools also come with the download.

 

Patrick is a writer for Sunshine Behavioral Health. Patrick likes to write about addiction and mental health to help lift the stigma associated with them. 

About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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