Mental Health: Is There An App For That?

We all know that there are apps for almost everything. In my Psychotherapy and Personal Counselling practice, I regularly suggest apps that track mood or exercise or for meditation to name a few. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop with Dr. Anthony Levinson, Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University.

Dr. Levinson spoke about mental health apps and provided a framework to assess apps and suggested apps that can be used to help with mental health. Read on to learn how to evaluate the apps that you might already be using, and learn about other apps he recommends for mental health. Note: sometimes an app doesn’t feel like it’s enough – and that’s okay. Learn more about me and reach out.

How to Assess Mental Health Apps

  1. Background information: Who owns the app? Who funds the app? Is it from a trusted resource? Are there any hidden costs? Do you know the individuals or organizations involved?
  2. Privacy: What is the privacy policy? Is it accessible before use? It is crystal clear? Does it collect, share or sell your information?
  3. Clinical evidence: Is there evidence of benefit from an academic institution? How about end-user feedback or research studies?
  4. Usability: Does it meet your needs? Who is the intended audience? Who should or shouldn’t use it?
  5. Inclusion: Is it suitable for people from different cultures and backgrounds?
  6. Integration: Can it be used in collaboration with your mental health professional? Will it improve the therapeutic relationship? Can data from the app be shared with your mental health professional?

These are just a few of the questions you need to answer before you sign up and start using any app. This may feel overwhelming. Below are three organizations that have reviewed a large variety of apps to help with mental health and addiction.

Sources for Mental Health and Addiction Apps

If your challenge is more involved than an app and you want to connect with a Psychotherapist and Personal Counsellor please feel free to connect with me by email or book an appointment. I’m accepting new clients! Take care.  Be well.

Listening. Guiding. Caring.