Can an app help my mental health problems?

Martha Neary, One Mind PsyberGuide

There are many ways to deal with mental health problems, and usually a combination of methods is a good approach. Examples include therapy, support groups, medication, and lifestyle changes. Sometimes, getting into services can be difficult or intimidating. Because technology lets you explore and work through problems at your own pace, and try things out before deciding what your next steps might be, websites or mobile apps can help you effectively cope with mental health problems.

You might already use apps to help you in many ways: to help you get from place to place, to connect and share things with friends, or to remind you to do important things like wake up and when you’re meeting up with a friend. But you may not be aware that there are thousands of apps out there that focus on mental health.

Here are some kinds of mental health supports that apps can provide:

  • A mindfulness meditation app can help manage stress levels by teaching and guiding you through breathing techniques.
  • A mood tracking app can let you input your emotions, thoughts, and other events that happen in your life to help identify patterns in your mood and overall well-being.
  • A therapy app, such as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy app, can help you deal with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.

These apps can effectively help people manage mental health problems, in fact, in some instances these apps can be as effective as traditional treatments like therapy. You can use apps on their own, or in your transition to face-to-face treatment, or as an add on to therapy you are already receiving. There are a lot of great benefits to using mental health apps. They are usually low cost, and there are lots of free apps on the market. They can be used “on the go” – you can use them on the train, on the bus, at home, or in work, for even 5-10 minutes at a time. When you use a mental health app you don’t have to grapple with making appointments, waitlists, or insurance. On top of that, lots of apps offer creative and fun ways to manage mental health, so you might have some fun when you use them!

Ready to start using mental health apps? One resource to help you get started is One Mind PsyberGuide.

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