This post is in collaboration with Story of the Mind. See the original article here!
Mental Health apps seem to have a bit of a varied reputation. Some people love them but some of the science isn't so convincing. I think the biggest thing to remember that these should be used as a supplement to proper treatment - they aren't a cure but you might find them personally useful, or even as a way to help you achieve your 'therapy homework'. Here are a few I have come across, some of which I have found personally useful. I've also included ways you can access online communities and useful resources.
Meditation: This is something I really struggle with and there's no way I can do it by myself at this stage. Here are a few options to get you going:
Smiling Mind This is a great one because you can get quite a lot for free. This is one is an Australian based one which is endorsed by many Mental Health organisations which is reassuring. It also has meditations specific to certain demographics ie. kids & teenagers.
Headspace: This is a really popular one, but one you have to pay for, to get more than the bare minimum. It's got a free trial for 10 days of 10 minutes each to give you a little bit of an idea in the beginning. In the premium features there are some specific to certain situations, for instance if you're an anxious flyer.
Safety Plans: It's a good idea to have a safety plan in a way that is easily accessible to you. It's best to develop a plan with health professionals, these are just places to store them for easy access when they are needed. Check them out:
Stay Alive: This is a good one, especially if you're in the UK. It's got quite a bit of info. It lets you upload photos of things you want to keep living for like pictures of your family & friends. It has information to help someone else considering suicide and has space to input your safety plan. It includes helplines but these are UK based but the rest of the information is good even if you don't live there.
Beyond Now: This is an app developed by the Australian organisation Beyond Blue. Like all these apps, they need to be used with health professionals but it serves as a good app to keep your safety plan accessible. One good thing is that it is also available online if you don't have anything to view the app on.
Information: Here are a few places you can get information from. Some are worldwide, some are youth focused, check them out and see what you like. I've found these one's especially useful.
Kati Morton is a great place to start and an absolute saviour. Her YouTube channel is so genuine and informative and a great tool for anyone going though a tough time or in need of some information. Her videos have definitely had a positive impact on me and her other 150,000 subscribers, making everyone feel a little less alone. She's a licensed therapist from California and puts up videos twice a week and often answers peoples questions in her live streams.
Reach Out: This is a link to the Australian site, although I believe it exists in a few countries around the world. The information is great and goes beyond just mental health - it goes into physical health, relationships, sexuality and more. It also has great forums where you can talk to others in similar positions as you in a more age relevant manner.
Online Support: Here are a few ways to talk to someone when you are in a bit of a pinch. These are likely only available in Australia but I am sure with a quick google search you will be able to find something comparable where you are.
eHeadspace: This is a great way to get some support but it isn't for crisis counselling. You can chat with them online which is great especially if you're nervous or new to it all or chat over the phone which is generally a lot quicker and you can get more said and done in a limited time.
Lifeline: This is for all ages and can help you in a crisis. (If you're life is in immediate danger please call 000) They have an online chat and crisis line - the number is 13 11 14.
Kids helpline: This is similar to lifeline - they can help in a crisis but also in other times of need. They too have a phone option and also an online chat service. This is good for anyone between the ages of 5 - 25 and I think its a good option if you're in this age range.
Any information on this blog is not a substitute for professional advice. It is written from personal experience and research only. If you are in crisis, go to your nearest emergency room, call lifeline on 13 11 14 or dial 000. If you live outside Australia, link to worldwide crisis numbers can be found in the sidebar.