Everything else is online these days, so why not mental health support as well? If you’re struggling with mental illness, consider one of these well-designed apps to use alongside conventional treatment.
Mental health is a key component of overall wellness. Mental health encompasses behavioral, psychological, emotional, and social wellness. It isn’t just the absence of a disorder; it is also how we feel and how we see ourselves. We could say mental health is a reflection of many interconnected relationships.
These issues are all of major concern to public health organizations. Over the past few years, mental illnesses have been among the most common health issues worldwide. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2018 about one in five adults were living with a mental illness. That means mental health issues are one of the primary causes of disability in the country. Sadly, the numbers are only increasing.
Despite the increased prevalence of mental health issues, it still seems we are unprepared. Mental health support is one of the biggest concerns for the National Institute of Mental Health. According to its research, only about half of the population with mental illness receives support. That estimate only includes those who have been diagnosed; many continue to suffer without a diagnosis.
There is clearly a need for increased access to mental health support. Fortunately, we live in the age of the Internet. Everything else is available online these days, so why not mental health support as well? As it turns out, there are dozens of mental health support apps for patients to take advantage of.
Keep in mind, however, that these mental health apps are just an additional resource and should complement—not replace—more traditional forms of treatment. Here are three mental health apps to consider as part of your therapeutic process.
#1 Mental Health Support App: What’s Up
This is a free app available for Android and iOS devices. What’s Up is an interactive mental health support app created by Jackson Tempra in 2016. It’s based on elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) this app also includes acceptation commitment therapy strategies.
What’s up borrow from cognitive-behavioral therapy with its inclusion of a diary to record and track thoughts and emotions. This mental health support app also offers psychoeducational resources for anxiety, depression, and stress, along with guided exercises and grounding games.
What’s up is a really great option to consider as a mental health support tool. This app has elements that can address a range of mental health issues, and can guide you through your healing process.
#2 Mental Health Support App: nOCD
This app is a more focused option. nOCD is a mental health support app for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This app is available for free for iOS and Android devices and it was created by NOCD Inc. nOCD is an app designed with the input of mental health experts specializing in OCD and based on the most effective treatments for this condition. These approaches include mindfulness and exposure-response theory.
The mental health app nOCD offers users complete clinical guidelines for diagnosis and support. The app also includes weekly tests to measure the severity of the symptoms and personalized video therapies. With this app, users can also get emotional support, through communication with others who understand the condition. The nOCD app is also a psychoeducational resource for users.
nOCD is a revolutionary app, as it brings new elements to the therapeutic process. The app is a platform of online resources and live-call therapeutic sessions—something only a few mental health apps offer. This app also provides users with behavioral exercises based on their specific triggers and obsessions. Its therapeutic resources can also be helpful with other anxiety disorders.
#3 Mental Health Support App: Self-Help for Anxiety Management
This is another targeted app option. Self-Help for Anxiety Management is an interactive mental health support app. This app was created by the University of the West in England. The app was launched in 2015 and it is available for iOS and Android devices. Self-Help for Anxiety Management is an online anxiety tool kit. This app is based on cognitive-behavioral therapy.
This mental health support app is also psychoeducational, providing a great resource to help understand anxiety. Self-Help for Anxiety Management provides users with exercises and guidelines to manage anxiety. Along with that, the app also allows users to track their anxious thoughts, as well as their response to those thought.
In my view, this app is a masterpiece. It offers more than 25 cognitive-behavioral therapy strategies. Best of all, these are self-help, which means you can apply them on your own when needed. The app also has a Social Club that serves as an online support community. Here, you can talk with people that are currently experiencing or have gone through the same anxiety issues. This is something very few mental health apps offer.
It’s important to reiterate that these mental health apps are support tools. You can use them as a complementary strategy in your treatment process. I had the opportunity to use all three of these apps and I found them to be among the most interactive and well-designed mental health apps currently available.
As a mental health professional, I recommend these apps because they are theory-based. These apps also combine psychoeducational and treatment resources—two features critical to any effective mental health support tool.