Suffering from mental health is a topic many feel uncomfortable discussing. It can leave people feeling isolated and unsure of who to turn to for help, labelled in the past as quite a taboo topic of conversation.
Thankfully, the stigmas around mental health are breaking down, and it is becoming a widely acknowledged problem that many will suffer from in their life. It is currently estimated that 1 in every 4 people in the UK will experience issues with their mental health, the most common of these being such often disabling conditions as anxiety and depression.
In response to this universal acknowledgement as to how common mental illness can be, the tech industry has developed ways of supporting people through such trying times. Innovative new apps have emerged, designed to help alleviate mental suffering and promote emotional and mental wellbeing.
Although these apps are by no means the only way people should seek treatment for mental illness, they do go some way in helping to provide support for those who are struggling.
Headspace is an app designed to guide its users through various different meditation and mindfulness exercises. The app comes with an extensive library, filled with different meditation guides to help alleviate the pressures of any mental issues and help the mind to focus and grow its own inner peace.
The app has hundreds of different “sessions” that cover a broad range of topics from reducing anxiety to improving mental focus on tasks throughout the day. There are also shorter sessions available for those on the go, promoting people to work on their mindfulness by offering it up in bite-sized chunks. The app also offers emergency exercises for those having mental breakdowns and need urgent support.
SuperBetter is another great app that helps to improve mental health and wellbeing, specifically by building up the user’s resilience to tough situations. Founded by best-selling author, researcher and game designer Jane McGonigal, SuperBetter claims it is “on a mission to unlock heroic potential around the world”.
This app uses the popular video game framework that is loved by so many across the globe to help players overcome challenges throughout their day to day lives, getting rewarded in the game with “power-ups”. SuperBetter helps its users to adopt healthier lifestyle habits by encouraging them to adopt the motivated attitudes they have when playing a game to their daily lives and challenges. SuperBetter helps to encourage those struggling in many different ways to bring in healthier attitudes to their daily routine, which can go a long way in boosting overall mental stability and general wellbeing.
Built on a foundation of decades-worth of psychological research and experience, a team of engineers, psychologists and entrepreneurs decided to develop an online platform to help improve those with an eating disorder to both manage and organise their recovery. Since its creation, the platform has been used by 700,000 people struggling with an eating disorder.
The app helps those with eating disorders to manage their recovery by providing a secure platform with which users can record their meal plans, their progress and any thoughts and feelings they have about their recovery process. Recovery Record, similar to SuperBetter, also applies a gaming framework to the user’s experience of the app to help encourage the motivated, optimistic attitude that typically occurs when playing a game.
7 Cups is another great app that aims to alleviate anxiety and stress. The online platform works by offering users a variety of different coping mechanisms for when they are struggling with their mental health. Everything is anonymous, and the app offers trained, professional counsellors for users who need to talk to someone 1 to 1.
The platform also offers virtual chat rooms people can enter to gain support from people going through similar struggles. In addition to this, the app also offers 300 free exercises to improve mindfulness and other great supportive features for those suffering from poor mental health.
Moodpath is a reflective journal for users to track their emotional and physical health/ wellbeing. The app was developed by a team of trained therapists and doctors, and is based on the concept of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). In addition to this, Moodpath is further validated by psychologists and psychotherapists who conduct studies on the app.
The online platform will routinely assess your mental health, asking you questions every day about how you are feeling in yourself both mentally and physically. Users can then share this assessment with professionals in the field. The app also helps allow people to reflect on the course of their emotional state throughout a period of time, helping those suffering with recurrent mental health problems to better understand their triggers and other noteworthy patterns.