Technology plays an important role in health care – new developments help break down barriers and help people overcome challenges in treatment and access to care.
Over the last few years there’s been a surge in app development targeted at improving people’s mental health. We wanted to highlight some of the apps we’ve found helpful.
Remember that these apps are not a substitute for a diagnosis. They should be used in conjunction with the advice of a professional.
thinkFull was developed by TELUS, in partnership with Mindyourmind, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Heretohelp, teenmentalhealth.org, and Five Areas Ltd.
This is an app that helps you monitor and manage your stress levels. The check-in feature presents you with a sliding-scale where you can rate your stress level on a scale from one for “Relaxed and feeling calm,” to seven for “Feeling stressed and mostly not able to handle it.” You can even schedule regular notifications to remind you to check in.
In the journal section you are able to add hashtags that denote the reasons for your stress, for example if you felt particularly stressed by your workplace you could add #deadlines #conflict #workload etc. Using this function allows you to identify recurrent trends.
There is also a section for tips where they provide you with information and activities for managing stress.
PTSD Coach and PTSD Coach Canada
PTSD Coach was developed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs as a tool for trauma survivors to monitor their symptoms and learn about coping techniques. It was then adapted for Canadian users by Veteran Affairs Canada, the Department of National Defence, and the Canadian Mental Health Association.
PTSD Coach and PTSD Coach Canada provide useful information about symptoms and treatments, and provide tools for tracking your symptoms and taking assessments. They also allow you to schedule regular check-ins.
When accessing the tools, which include suggestions like, deep breathing, help falling asleep, and reduce isolation, you are able to rate your level of stress. This helps you determine which tools work best for you. They also offer resources specific to their respective countries.
SuperBetter is an app that encourages you to stay optimistic and motivated in the face of adversity and challenges. The app is designed to make you the superhero of your own mental health. You can activate power ups, battle bad guys, and complete quests.
When you sign up you are asked to identify which factors in your life contribute to your mental health, for example anxiety, depression, chronic pain, etc. Then you are encouraged to set goals and complete quests to accomplish those goals. The power ups include tasks that help build energy for example, go for a walk, drink water, have a conversation etc.
Mindshift was developed by AnxietyBC. It’s an app that provides tools for relaxation and strategies for coping with anxiety. Mindshift fashions itself as a portable life coach that will help you face the challenging situations in your life. Like SuperBetter, Mindshift asks you to identify situations that you might need help with, such as managing worry, tackling social fears, taking charge of panic, etc.
From there you are provided with information and tools about the situation you are facing. They also include a check-in feature and a section that allows you to create your own treatment plan.
Your M3 is your mental health score. When you launch the What’sMyM3 app you will be prompted to complete a self-check questionnaire, which will reveal your M3 score – scores higher than 33 indicate that you might have a mood disorder.
The results also show which conditions you scored highest in. The app also includes helpful links and tips.
Here at the Men’s Depression and Suicide Network we’ve developed an online resource for men with depression. HeadsUpGuys offers a self-check assessment, a tool to create your own treatment plan, and information on symptoms and treatment options.