Psyberguide is an online resource that rates mental health apps using various metrics, Credibility, User Experience, and Transperancy; to create a comprehensive list of mobile applications that can help provide information and solutions for different areas of Mental Heatlh care and wellness.
Woebot is an AI-powered chatbot that guides users through the management of distressing thoughts and feelings using principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The app operates like a social messaging application, and invites users to communicate with Woebot by sending text messages. Upon first using the app, Woebot asks how the user feeling, and what is going on in their life. Woebot also informs the user about how Woebot works and informs users that the app works best if the user can “help Woebot learn” by completing daily check-ins for two weeks. Then, Woebot responds by prompting with tools, skills, and strategies by inferring the users’ most immediate needs. Users also have the option to toggle “SOS” mode, wherein Woebot will offer emergency resources. Woebot is not designed to be used in an emergency, or to manage psychiatric crises.
Cognitive Behavior Principles:
This Way Up is a web-based program that provides information and skills for overcoming anxiety and depression. With clinician-assisted, self-help, and school-based-prevention modules, This Way Up can be used by many different kinds of users who need help to cope with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), This Way Up may be particularly useful for individuals who do not have affordable or accessible mental health services in their area.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy:
Calm Harm is an app designed to help manage self-harm. Based on principles from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Calm Harm teaches teenagers to tolerate urges to hurt themselves and postpone acting on those impulses. In addition to providing basic information about self-harm, Calm Harm includes four modules: ‘Distract’, to focus attention off of the urge; ‘Comfort’, to build positive self-regard and constructive habits; ‘Express’, to communicate negative emotions in more effective ways; and ‘Release’, with alternative behaviors for safely venting an unbearable urge. Calm Harm also has a tracking function that allows users to view their progress and take note of patterns and trends in their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to self-harm.
SuperBetter is a multi-platform, video-game style app that is intended to help users build “resilience,” defined as “the ability to stay strong, motivated and optimistic even in the face of difficult challenges.” SuperBetter invites users to create a fully customizable “Secret Identity” to tackle quests, use power-ups, and identifies “Bad Guys” for users to defeat. Users can conquer a real-life “quest” by completing tasks that are shown to increase overall health and well-being. Examples of “Quests” and “Power-up’s” include drinking water, reaching out to an old friend, walking around the block, and practicing “self-care” others. SuperBetter offers a social option to challenge friends to join a user’s quest, and users can customize their quests, challenges, and “Bad Guys” to address a variety of real-life concerns, from physical health, emotional health, and social connection.
Calm is a web-based program and multi-platform app for mindful meditation. The home page shows a relaxing nature scene which can be customized to the user’s preference. Sections on the home page are: Music, Meditation and Sleep. The free trial version offers one meditation session per day, from 2 to 30 minutes in length, and focused music tracks set to scenic photos. Purchase of a subscription provides users with unlimited access to focused meditation programs, sleep stories, and customization options. Additional features include daily reminders to meditate and tracking of user meditation statistics. Calm intends to be flexible in order to fit into a busy schedule and be available on the go.
Headspace is an app aimed to bring the principles of mindfulness meditation to users’ lives, and hopes to improve concentration and mood, reduce anxiety, and increase productivity. Users can complete a 10-session free trial before deciding to purchase a subscription that provides access to a wide variety of sessions and programs. The Headspace library includes single meditations, session packs, meditations for children, and animated meditations. Users can choose programs and progress through Headspace at their own pace. Additional features include meditation reminders, tracking your practice statistics, and inviting a buddy to join and meditate with.
“A Friend Asks” is a FREE smart-phone app that helps provide the information, tools and resources to help a friend (or yourself) who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide. Download the app today and encourage friends and family to do the same. Education is the key to prevention and with information like this as close as your smartphone; you could help save a life!
The ASK About Suicide to Save a Life app provides useful information to use as an educational resource as well as a crisis intervention resource for suicide prevention. Used in over 80 countries, this app is based on the best practices ASK suicide prevention training program. This app is based upon the Best Practice designated ASK About Suicide to Save a Life training program developed by the Texas Department of State Health Services and Mental Health America of Texas.