Our online world is already fast paced and it won’t be slowing down anytime soon, especially as we are relying on the internet more and more since we have been confined to our homes. Our phones ding, beep, or vibrate what seems like every 30 seconds, alerting us an event, email, or text. The news cycle is constant and so is our social media, It often leaves me leaving feeling overloaded with information and stressed out.
Even though some experts believe that our increasing reliance on technology can breed more chances for mental illness to develop, there are ways that technology can help people to deal with their symptoms, for this there are plenty of mental health apps.
Although they are not a substitute for actual health care or counselling, the following apps are helping many users cope with their illnesses and get back to the business of their lives – for free.
There is a huge amount of information on mental health online and plenty of really great apps too. But where do you start ? To save you the time and effort trawling through them all I have done the research and produced a list of resources on my website.
Here below are my favourite “go to” apps to help in time of need and I always recommended them to my clients too!
Just click on the picture to go to the website.
Calm This is a popular app and is a great for meditation and mindfulness. The free version of it will get you started, but there’s also some paid packages which unlock more exercises. What I personally love about Calm is the reminder to practice meditation and mindfulness daily, which in a busy day I need! It keeps a record of how many sessions you’ve done, and I like this as you have to protect your score by completed them every-day. It is quite flexible and you can choose how much time you want to practice mindfulness for. This means that you can start small and increase the time as you start to get better. It takes just 5 minutes out of your day and using this app to relax and stay ‘calm’ has huge benefits for me. It’s also great to use before bed if you struggle to sleep!
Headspace This is another popular app that it is very similar to Calm. Headspace is also an app for meditation and mindfulness and again comes with built in mindfulness and meditation exercises for you to practice. I personally love the body scan exercise, as it fit in well with the mindfulness practice I use. I’ve tried both, and I prefer this one
Reasons 2 is a free app designed by young people and Washington Mind to help improve mental health. The app allows the user to manage their mental wellness by building their own profile, upload pictures and images that give them the ‘feel good’ factor and makes them happy. There are also lots of links to other mental wellness websites and information. But what i felt was good that the user can share their stuff with other users and see what makes them feel positive too.
Sam is an app to help the user to understand and manage anxiety. The app has been developed in collaboration with a research team from UWE Bristol. SAM is a simple app to use and it offers a range of self-help methods for people who are serious about learning to manage their anxiety. There is also an anonymous online community too.
Wellmind is a free NHS mental health and wellbeing app designed to help you with stress, anxiety and depression .The app includes advice, tips and tools to improve your mental health and boost your wellbeing. A good starting point for information and resources.
Sleepio is an online sleep improvement programme, clinically proven to help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep through the night, and give you more energy during the day. The programme is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). The user will learn cognitive techniques to help tackle the racing mind and behavioural strategies to help reset sleeping patterns naturally. Each session takes 20 to 30 minutes. There are 6 core sessions, and a daily sleep diary which helps you track your progress. Sleepio has been tested in rigorous clinical trials, and evaluated by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
The distrACT app gives you easy, quick and discreet access to information and advice about self-harm and suicidal thoughts. The content has been created by doctors and experts in self-harming and suicide prevention. The app aims to help the user to better understand urges to self-harm, and encourages you to monitor and manage your symptoms. It can also help reduce the risk of suicide. What I like about this App is that there is plenty of advice and support information, including emergency contact numbers, how best to work with healthcare professionals, and safer alternatives to self-harming. A great bonas of this Ap is the Chill Zone, where you can find resources that may help the user to feel better, including art, books, films, music, poems, quotes, stories and online videos.
This Stay Alive app is a suicide prevention resource and is packed with resources, informations and tools to help the user stay safe in a crisis. The informations states ‘In dark times, sometimes we need someone to remind us that we still have meaning to live. And finding the places to look for and reach out too is often a task that seems too daunting in a place of dispair’ A serious message, and quite a big ask but this app connects the user with all of the essential resources and support numbers they might need if the user is feeling suicidal. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.The lifebox feature allows you to upload pictures of things that are meaningful to you, to remind you that life is worth living.
The Calm Harm app designed to help people resist or manage the urge to self-harm. The app provides tasks that help the user to resist or manage the urge to self-harm. They are able to add thier own tasks too and it’s completely private and password protected. Calm has four categories of tasks that target the main reasons for why people self-harm. ‘Distrac’t helps to combat the urge by learning self-control; ‘Comfort’ helps to care rather than harm; ‘Express’ gets those feelings out in a different way and ‘Release’ provides safe alternatives to self-injury.