When you pull out your smartphone what are your goals? For most of us, we're just hoping to kill a little time or connect with others. However, innovative apps are giving us the potential to use our phones to improve our mental health.
- There are simple apps like Mood 24/7 that allow you to track your mood over time, a valuable tool when combined with therapy.
- A slightly more complicated app is Optimism which not only helps you track your mood but tries to help you identify what things might have influenced any changes in mood.
- There are different kinds of apps that hope to gamify depression and anxiety management, MoodTune is one such app that was carefully designed after years of research.
- Personal Zen is another example of an app that takes therapeutic strategies and puts them into a game format.
Other technological advices allow you to connect with advice, life coaching and counseling either through text or face to face interaction.
A few examples of these apps are Lantern, Crisis Text Line and Talk Space. Services like these should not be used instead of traditional therapy but they can supplement existing protocols as additional services.
There is even an app designed specifically for people who struggle with PTSD, called PTSD Coach. This is particularly exciting since PTSD is an area of mental health that is in need of more therapeutic innovation.
According to the Huffington Post article, "8 Ways To Use Your Phone to Benefit Your Mental Health" by Lindsey Holmes,
"Recently, there has been a surge of interest, research and development in mental and emotional health apps and online programs -- a welcome idea in a world where nearly 19 percent of U.S. adults are affected by some kind of mental illness. While experts don't recommend seeking help solely online, there has been some research suggesting there is value in these types of programs, especially when used as a supplement to in-person therapy."
Apps like these may improve the quality of life of your friends, family or patients. When you are offering therapy as a professional it is always good to have a few simple apps to suggest to your patients as well.
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