8 Mental Health Apps
Posted by: Agnetha Wescott, Minster Law
Its Mental Health Awareness week! Organised by the Mental Health foundation and running from the 14th – 20th May 2018, the theme for this year is stress. Everyone gets stressed, it’s part of everyday life and can sometimes provide a little motivation to hit those deadlines. However, when you’re overwhelmed it can lead to mental health problems or exacerbate existing ones.
There’s still a lot of stigma attached to mental health and that stigma can be a hurdle in speaking out or asking for help. When faced with a physical illness like chest pain, tooth ache etc, we are quick to speak to a professional and seek support. Yet when it comes to our mental health we are even less likely to speak to a health professional. Male colleagues in particular struggle with only 1 in 5 males saying they would speak to a health professional over anxiety or feeling low.
However, over the last eight years or so, organisations have worked to find innovative ways to provide support to those who may struggle to leave the house whether due to financial, emotional or geographical issues. In honour of mental health week I’ve created a list of Apps you can download (some free and some paid), that focus on mental health.
- check for apps with input from a mental health practitioner.
- check how your personal data is held.
- has the app been approved by a regulatory body?
- has the app undergone any clinical trials?
- what are the moderator/posting guidelines?
Stress & Anxiety Companion (FREE): Helps you handle stress and anxiety on-the-go. Tools like breathing exercises, relaxing music and games are designed to calm the mind.
Cove (FREE): Creates music that reflects your emotional state.
Calm (FREE): Calm was branded as Apple’s “App of the Year” in 2017. The app is designed to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and help you to feel happier.
Headspace (FREE or subscription): Uses mindfulness and meditation to help you perform at your best each day. The app’s mission is to provide you with the essential tools to achieve a happier, healthier life.
Chill Panda (FREE): Helps you relax by measuring heart rate and suggesting breathing techniques and light exercises.
Big White Wall (£9.99/Month): Is an online community for people who are stressed, anxious or feeling low. The service has an active forum with round-the-clock support from trained professionals. You can talk anonymously to other members and take part in group or one-to-one therapy with therapists.
Enter your postcode on the Big White Wall’s sign-up page to see if you can join for free or if you need a referral from your GP. The service is free for UK serving personnel, veterans, their families and some universities. If Big White Wall is not available on the NHS in your area, you can join directly through the website for the price above.
SilverCloud (FREE only on NHS referral, contact your local mental health services to see if it is available as a free NHS treatment): an online course to help people manage stress, anxiety and depression. You work through a series of topics selected by a therapist to address certain needs. It’s an 8 week course but you can complete it in your own time and at your own pace.
Be Mindful (£30): Web based training programme that guides you through all the elements of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.