If you’re curious how far you walked, what deals are available from your favorite website or if the latest blockbuster is any good, there’s an app for that. And if you want to order a car ride, compare your fitness achievements against your friends or sign up for your next yoga class? There are apps for those as well.
Yes, there’s an app for just about everything these days, and you employ several of them in your personal life. But have you allowed apps to enter your professional world, incorporating them into the treatment regimens of your patients? Below are seven apps that are worth your consideration because of their ability to offer your patients continual support and improved care.
- Operation Reach Out. Since the importance of the service it provides cannot be underscored, it makes sense to place this app first on our list. Operation Reach Out assists in cases where a person is having suicidal thoughts and works as a free intervention option. Originally developed by the military, this app is widely supported by many suicide prevention groups.
- Anxiety Coach. Created by the Mayo Clinic, this app can help people treat their anxiety by creating a list of what makes them anxious, formulating a plan to deal with those situations and then tracking results, allowing patients to see their progress.
- Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson. Many mental health-related complications can be tied directly to insufficient sleep. This simple app offers a soothing voice that navigates the user through Progressive Muscle Relaxation and ultimately into sleep. Sessions of varied length are available, and in case the sessions are too successful, the app also includes an alarm.
- MoodTools. A self-help app for those dealing with depression, MoodTools provides informational material about particular risk factors as well as psychosocial treatment approaches. Users can interact with the app through thought diaries, symptom questionnaires, videos and suicide prevention safety plans.
- DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach. This app is a must for proponents of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Created by psychologist Marsha Linehan, the app offers users a plethora of self-help skills, coaching tools and other reinforcement techniques designed to support the treatments a patient may be receiving from their provider.
- WorryWatch. If you have patients who suffer from chronic worry or anxiety symptoms, WorryWatch can help. Patients can record their moments of stress through the app, basing them on several worry factors. And as they record their experiences, the app will offer questions that motivate the recorder to consider whether the cause of their worry was actually as serious as it originally seemed to them. Originally created by a sufferer of such conditions, the app is meant to be a support tool, not a treatment replacement.
- Mindshift. Mindshift is designed to support younger adults and even teens facing anxiety disorders. The app provides them basic skills and management techniques to overcome challenges, including social anxiety, panic attacks and specific phobias. Users can also use the app to tailor solutions to their specific needs and make use of relaxing tools — like imagery or breathing exercises — that are found in the app.
These are just seven of the apps on the market that have the potential to offer real support to your patients and your practice. Take a look at each and review other options as well. The complimentary solution you are looking for could be just a click away.
Clinical Director October has been a Registered Nurse for over 15 years. She is board certified in Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also graduated with bachelor and master degrees in Nursing from Western Governors University.