Correctional Medical Care's Mental Health Tech Week V: Mobile Apps
Mental Health Technology
A note from Correctional Medical Care:
For the past few weeks on CorrectionalMedicalCare.net, we’ve
decided to use this platform to outline and highlight recent and ever
evolving methods of mental health care.
The topic of technological advancements can polarize an audience;
some believe that with each step forward technology takes comes a
coinciding step forward for mankind. Others believe that we’ve
become too reliant on technology, citing our seeming dependence on
smartphones, television and tablet computers.
To view our blog posts, visit CorrectionalMedicalCare.net
In week one of this series we spoke briefly to the
impact that mobile apps can have on a mental health
patient. It was a short portion of the online
psychiatric aid article that did not do the mobile
mental health app world justice.
Currently, if you scour the list of top mobile apps on either
Android or Apple (easily the two highest app stores in terms
of market share) you’ll be met with the likes of Snapchat,
Pandora and the ChicFilA app. A fun list, no doubt, but not
particularly helpful when it comes to your mental or physical
health (in fact the ChicFilA app may be detrimental to your
physical health if you’re overusing it). Meanwhile, buried on
the list of 1.5 – 1.6 million apps are a wealth of extremely
beneficial mental health apps that aren’t getting the
recognition that they deserve, or the attention that their
potential users need.
The App Store: What's on it For Us?
Smart Phones in General
According to the Pew Research Center, about 68% of adults
in the United States owned a smartphone as of 2015. This
number has been rising consistently since 2011 when just
35% of adults could make that same claim. This increase in
smartphone ownership has come with an encouraging
statistic regarding the phones’ app stores: the British
Journal of Psychiatry cites a “rapid increase” in the number
of mental health apps in the last five years.
Rise Up + Recover
Often when mental health is the topic of discussion,
disorders like depression or anxiety emerge to the forefront
of conversation. But with 1015 percent of Americans
suffering from some form of eating disorder, the numbers
have gotten too large to let them fall by the wayside.
Rise up + Recover is an app designed to help those
suffering from anorexia or bulimia to do exactly that–rise up
over their disease and recover. The app helps you log
eating and exercise routines as well as monitors and tracks
your mood and feelings.
Code Blue is an app geared directly towards those suffering from
depression and/or bullying. Because depressive episodes and
bullying has become quite the epidemic in the US leading to a
sharp increase in suicide among youth, Code Blue was
developed as a “panic button” of sorts. By simply opening the
app and tapping the button on the screen, those who are
suffering from a depressive episode or in need of assistance are
instantly connected with someone with whom they can talk and
help relieve their issues.
TalkSpace takes apps like CodeBlue one step further, connecting
those in need with one of over 500 licensed psychiatry professionals
with just a few clicks. Payment options and plans are highly
customizable to the individual, catering to their needs as they see fit.
TalkSpace functions more like an individualized one on one virtual
session with a real psychiatrist. It has received positive press from the
likes of the Wall Street Journal, Business Insider and CNN, among
others, for its counseling technology capabilities.