How to find a good app for mental health

Bakke, D & Rickard, N. The Conversation. Published online: November 6 2016

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Mental health apps don’t promise to be a replacement for professional help, but can be useful tools in the treatment of subclinical problems (such as everyday anxious feelings and low moods) and the prevention of clinical problems (such as depression and anxiety disorders). Some psychologists or mental health clinicians use apps in addition to the work they do with clients and patients.

So before you set out to navigate the quagmire of available mental health apps, what should you keep in mind?

  1. Does it use evidence-based techniques?
  2. Does it address more than one symptom or issue?
  3. Do you tell the app how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, or what you’re doing?
  4. Does the app recommend activities that are non-technology-based and linked to the problems you’ve reported?
  5. Can you use the app in real time, as you’re experiencing distress?
  6. Is there good experimental evidence to show the app’s effectiveness?
  7. Do you like it?

Read more about the full list of recommendations here

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