Mental health is becoming a more relevant topic among many young people, close friends and family members nowadays, but for some it is still taboo to bring to the open. The past few years has been tough on all of us, whether it's political dynamics, climate change, or the pandemic, more and more people are anxious as to what the future may bring. With that said, there are many wellbeing apps available for anyone who needs a lending hand in tracking or starting a conversation and being part of a community.
Chnnl is aimed at people looking to track their wellbeing in their work lives. The app acts as a mood tracker, and also allows its users to engage in some introspective thinking with daily check-ins that ask about how you feel at your workplace. There is also a journal feature, which allows users to vent about their day if the daily check-in isn’t quite cutting it. The interface is easy to navigate, and the app doesn’t obsessively send push notifications telling you to use it as some other wellbeing apps might tend to do. If you do use Chnnl consistently, you are able to see your progress tracked in graph form, which allows users to see where they’ve been and think about where they’re going on their path to better mental wellbeing.
Melon is a community approach to mental health awareness. With users all across the country sharing their experiences every day, this app aims to bring people together. Created with the objective of helping people through the tough times of lockdown and social distancing, Melon bridges the gap between people and reaches those that may be feeling more alone than ever. The community already using the app is supportive and accepting, and overall this approach of communal healing feels appropriate during a time where many people are struggling with the same issues.
This app is designed to improve its user's mental health little by little every day, with exercises and activities to keep your brain occupied. The app will ask you some questions upon joining so that it can provide a tailored experience based on what your goals are, when you can use the app, and how much time you can commit. After answering the setup questions, you will be taken to a screen where you can view some of the features. Mentemia also uses a mood tracker to show user progress, as well as having several personality quizzes users can take to possibly gain a better understanding of how they function in the world. This app is full of content aimed at helping you improve not only yourself but the way you interact with the world. There are courses on laughing, communication, and taking it easy to help users gain traction along the mental health journey. The app prides itself on being research-based, and from using its interface it is clear they have put the hard yards in. Mentemia has succeeded in being an app that is accessible to all and is able to assist users with a wide range of issues.
Clearhead uses an interactive approach to bettering mental health. The app has a wellbeing chatbot that takes in your information to determine how the app could best work for you. Once you have completed your first conversation with the wellbeing chatbot, you will be given an outline of what the issues you described are and how they are effecting your life. You will also be able to use features like ‘Lessons’, which teach the user how to manage the issues they are facing such as stress or anger. Like many other mental health apps, Clearhead uses a mood tracker to follow user progression. The interface is relatively simple, and pretty well tailored to each user. For someone who may not have any experience in confronting issues with their mental wellbeing, Clearhead would be a good place to start.
SPARX is an interactive experience aimed towards younger people. It is formatted like a gaming experience to guide its users through a mental health journey. SPARX has 7 levels, each taking about half an hour to complete. The challenges are designed to teach users important lessons about maintaining mental health and getting help for your issues. The game checks in on how the user is doing as you complete each level and may even suggest getting extra help. While the graphic design itself is somewhat basic, the content of the game itself manages to make some complex concepts much more accessible for a younger audience. Overall, the app is a good introduction to understanding your own mental health and might be useful for those who have little experience with therapy or other methods of coping.
Aroha Chatbot is a web-based app aimed at young people in Aotearoa New Zealand. As COVID-19 led to a nationwide lockdown, many young people were separated from their peers during a time in their lives when socializing is key in their development. Aroha uses a Facebook-based interface to simulate talking to a friend online. This app offers the familiarity of a well-known platform while providing an outlet for young people (13 to 24 years old) that may be feeling lonelier than they should be.
The idea of using an app to get help might seem trivial, but it’s truly better than letting our issues lie within. Confrontation is a scary, but necessary, step along the path toward mental wellbeing. If you or someone you care about have been feeling less than great lately and are struggling with how to deal with the weight of the world, look into what app might work best.
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