With Mental Health Week approaching (October 9 - 15) I'm featuring some home grown top tech for well being on the blog.
Today I have a guest post from David Bakker who's in his final year of a Doctor of Clinical Psychology at Monash University. David and his colleagues are psychologists - and app developers. Clever huh? Here's David to tell you about MoodMission - an app for improving your mood
(Not a sponsored post, just getting the message of well being out there)
You can get an app for anything, from summoning food to your door, to making music or uncovering your ancestral history. There are many apps for mental health, but some are problematic.
The apps available fall into two categories.
1. Apps that have been designed by psychologists or researchers, which use evidence-based mental health strategies but execute them in a clumsy way. These apps are designed to be introduced users by a health professional and tend not to be well suited to smartphone users.
2. Apps developed by professional app developers. These are often slicker and designed well for smartphones but lack mental health strategies that are based in evidence .
Another shortcoming of many mental health apps is a lack of what the experts call ‘experimental evidence’. Most therapies need experiments like randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to ensure their effectiveness before they are recommended for use. However only a handful of RCTs have been conducted for mental health apps.
The MoodMission team wanted to build an app that overcome these problems and deliver effective, evidence-based mental health strategies in a way that works well on a smartphone. After two years of research and design, a successful crowdfunding campaign and nine months of building and testing, MoodMission’s is now available at the iTunes Store. The app is available for free for iPhone and we aim to build an Android version soon.
MoodMission is for everyone who experiences occasional low moods or anxious feelings – and that means everyone.
When you’re feeling down or anxious, you go to MoodMission and record how you’re feeling. MoodMission reaches into a big database of evidence-based mental health strategies and recommends five that it thinks can work for you. These strategies, or “Missions” are short, easily achievable and well-defined activities, tailored to the problem you’ve reported. After you’ve completed your Mission you rate how you feel and MoodMission uses this to learn which strategies work for you. This allows the app to tailor its responses to your individual needs.
The big difference between MoodMission and other apps is its flexibility. While other apps are single tools or small toolsets, MoodMission is a giant toolbox with an expert advisor offering you the right tips and techniques for you.
65% of people who experience a mental health issue do not receive treatment.
MoodMission and other digital mental health tools aim to reduce this number by overcoming the barriers of stigma, isolation and accessibility, bringing effective treatments and preventative measures to everyone with access to a smartphone.
Our goal is to make a difference to everyone’s mental health and well-being.
Other great, well researched mental health apps you might like:
MoodPrism – mood-tracking app that makes a colourful diary of your mood over time. iPhone & Android, Free
MoodKit – a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) toolkit, great to use in conjunction with a CBT practitioner. iPhone only, AU$6.49
Smiling Mind – mindfulness meditation for all ages. iPhone & Android, Free
Happify – positive psychology strategies. iPhone & Android, Free