Mental Health Apps… Which ones are helpful?

Many people use apps as their first attempt to manage their mental health concerns. It can be less intimidating to try an app first… sometimes it’s because of a fear about admitting to someone that you’re struggling. When our mental health isn’t what we’d like it to be we sometimes struggle to work out what’s going on… we don’t feel normal, we might think everyone else is ok, we don’t know, or notice when others might be struggling too. It can sometimes be easier to hide our struggles from others a well as from ourselves.

Apps make it easy to seek help. We can hide the app on our phone, we can access free apps, or low cost apps. We don’t need to let others know that we are struggling… doing this is hard and sometimes we might think this is weakness.

When clients do get the courage to ask for help, they often tell me they use an app to learn and practice mindfulness. Apps can be very useful as starting point for seeking help, and also as an adjunct to therapy.

There are a number of apps that are evidence-based and have been found to be helpful. It can be confusing to find an app that is going to work for you, but there are places you can go to find those apps that have been found to be helpful. Here’s a link to an article published by the ABC outlining the use of apps for mental health. The article references a number of apps that are evidence based as well as providing a link to Beacon which is an online portal developed by the Australian National University which categorises various apps and online resources. The apps and online resources have been rated on their evidence-base and effectiveness. It must be noted that it currently isn’t being updated, so there might be more useful apps out there that haven’t been reviewed on this website.

There are a few apps that suggest clients try. Most are free and some have a paid version which includes extra features. Explore these apps, have a play with each of them and find the content and features that work for you.

If you have questions about the use of apps or would like some assistance for your mental health, please contact Enhance Life Psychology.

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