Useful Mental Health Apps to Complement Your Treatment
Mental health apps seem to have varied reputations. Some people love them, but some people might believe the science isn’t so convincing. I think the biggest thing to remember is that these apps should be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment. They aren’t a cure, but you might find them personally useful. They can even be a way to help you achieve your “therapy homework.”
Here are a few mental health apps I have come across, some of which I have found personally useful. I’ve also included ways you can access online communities and useful resources.
For meditation. Meditation is something I really struggle with. There’s no way I can do it by myself right now. Here are a few options to get you going on meditation practices:
Smiling Mind. This is a great one because you can get a lot for free. This is an Australian-based app, endorsed by many mental health organizations. It also has meditations specific to certain demographics, for example: kids and teenagers.
Headspace. This is a really popular app, but one you have to pay for to get more than the bare minimum. It’s got a free trial for 10 days, 10 minutes each day, to give you a little bit of an idea before committing. In the premium features, there are meditations specific to certain situations; for instance, if you’re an anxious flyer.
For safety plans. It’s a good idea to have a safety plan that’s easily accessible to you. It’s best to develop a plan with healthcare professionals, but these apps are just places to store those plans for easy access when they are needed. Check them out:
Stay Alive. This is a good one, especially if you’re in the UK. It’s got quite a bit of information. It lets you upload photos of things you want to keep living for, like pictures of your family and friends. It has information to help someone else considering suicide and has space to input your safety plan. It includes helplines, but these are UK-based. However, the rest of the information is good even if you don’t live there.
Beyond Now. This is an app developed by the Australian organization, Beyond Blue. Like all of these apps, you need to be using this along with your treatment team, but it serves as a good app to keep your safety plan accessible. One good thing is that it is also available online if you don’t have a smartphone to view the app on.
For information. Here are a few places you can go to get information. Some are worldwide, some are youth focused. Check them out and see what you like. I’ve found these ones especially useful:
Kati Morton is a great place to start to find information — and an absolute savior. Her YouTube channel is so genuine and informative, and a great tool for anyone going though a tough time or in need of information. Her videos have definitely had a positive impact on me, and her 200,000 other subscribers make everyone else feel a little less alone. Kati is a licensed therapist from California. She puts up videos twice a week and often answers peoples questions in her live streams.
Reach Out. This is a link to the Australian site, although I believe it exists in other countries around the world. The information is great and goes beyond just mental health. It discusses physical health, relationships, sexuality and more. It also has great forums where you can talk to others in similar positions as you in a more age appropriate manner.
For online support. Here are a few ways to talk to someone when you’re in a bit of a pinch. These are likely only available in Australia, but I’m sure with a quick google search, you will be able to find something comparable where you are.
eHeadspace. This is a great way to get some support, but it isn’t for crisis counseling. You can chat with people online, which is great, especially if you’re nervous or new to the mental health space. Or you can chat over the phone which is generally a lot quicker, and you can get more said and done in a limited time.
Lifeline. This is for all ages and can help you in a crisis. If you’re life is in immediate danger please call 000 or 911. They have an online service as well as an online chat service.
Kids Helpline. This is similar to lifeline — they can help in a crisis, but also in other times of need. They also have a phone option and an online chat service. This is good for anyone between the ages of 5 to 25, and I think it’s a good option if you’re in this age range.
Let us know if you’ve found any good ones too!
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