A search for ‘depression’ in the Apple App Store will return over 100 different results, with apps like Depression Test to diagnose depression, Optimism to track your moods, Affirmations! to think more positively, and Gratitude Journal to document things you’re grateful for each day. And that’s just for depression. People struggling with anxiety, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and addictions have similar options available to them as well. As you work toward your counseling online degree, it will be important to keep up with innovations just like these:
With so many options increasing the accessibility to care, what are some of the leading mental health care apps available today?
Breathe2Relax helps users manage the acute symptoms of stress by walking them through the steps of various breathing exercises that help to reduce stress, control anger, manage anxiety, and stabilize their mood. This app is best used in conjunction with other therapies.
Code Blue is targeted towards youth who may be suffering from depression or bullying. Users can build a network of contacts who become an app-based support group, and with a few taps the app will alert the group when the user may be in need of help. Members of the network are then able to connect with each other, either by text or voice. The app also shares the user’s location in case immediate intervention is needed.
Lantern is a mobile and web-based app that combines the techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with advice from real-world experts. Users begin with a self-assessment of five areas of their life – body, stress/anxiety, mood, sleep, and social life – and the app provides an action plan of daily exercises based on the results. Users are also matched with a professional coach who is trained in CBT who is available for feedback.
Optimism allows users to track patterns in their mood, which helps to identify triggers for a range of mental illnesses including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Users can also create a customized wellness plan that includes coping mechanisms, helping them to better understand their conditions.
PTSD Coach was developed bypsychologists and first made available to military veterans who were experiencing symptoms of PTSD. It is immediately accessible when symptoms flare up and helps to relieve any acute stressors in moments of distress. In its first three years, PTSD Coach was downloaded more than 150,000 times in 86 different countries. In a 2014 study of 45 veterans who had used the app, 80 percent reported it had provided practical solutions that helped them manage their symptoms.
Working towards your Masters of Arts in Counseling or Masters of Arts in Human Services degrees at Wake Forest University means embracing the growing role that technology is playing in the delivery of health care and counseling services. The online Masters of Arts in Counseling and Masters of Arts in Human Services degrees are preparing skilled, compassionate counselors and human services professionals to make a positive difference in the lives of others. They equip students with the knowledge and clinical understanding to help those who need it most, including those who are pursuing a form of psychotherapy.