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Sunday, November 28, 2021

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Mental health apps that could help during the ongoing pandemic

Mental health might not be the easiest thing to talk about, especially with the constant fear of not being taken seriously or just mocked, but it is also a critical conversation we all need to have. We need to take stock of the toll the last couple of months has taken on us all mentally and seek out healthy solutions to our feelings.

While some people might not see this as a problem worth speaking of, statistics during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis paint a different picture. According to a poll from KFF.org,” nearly half (45%) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus.”

That same poll also found “57 percent of adults said they’re worried they could be exposed to the virus because they can’t afford to miss work and can’t stay home. That’s up from 35 percent two weeks earlier.” 

 Emotions are at an all-time high right now due to the ongoing coronavirus and it is taking a toll on American citizens. Instead of deciding where to eat or where to go on vacation this summer, America is being forced to consider things like finding supplies, keeping their family safe and burdensome financial woes.  

 So how do we do we deal with these emotional problems though? How do we even begin to undo the stress, anxiety and anger that has been a constant in our lives over the last couple of months?  To heal heavy wounds of depression, financial anxiety and just not being able to be around other people right now?  

 While you should always talk to your doctor or call 911 if you feel like your life is in immediate danger, there are things you can do from the comfort of your own home to help deal with your mental health.  With that in mind, hopefully the below apps are able to help you reach a calmer state   during these uncertain times and give you a sense of community as well.  


 Therapeer  

 Therapeer is an app for Android and iOS that allows users to act as peer counselors to each other and talk about important mental health issues. All a person needs to do is download the Theapeer app, select what subjects they would like to talk others about and take part in your very peer counseling chat room.  

 “We were inspired by research revealing that talking about your issues is a fundamental first step on the road to mental wellness,” Charlie Federman, co-founder of Therapeer claimed during an interview. “Our mission with Therapeer is to create a safe, affordable place for people to feel supported and not completely alone on their life’s journey, and perhaps even make a difference in someone else’s life.”  

 Once you have helped your first peer, you will receive valuable kudos, which are points that allow you to open a room of your own. That way, you are helping others and getting help for yourself at the same time. You also get to talk to a diverse group of people and the app has options that give you updates on when fellow users need help  

 Of course, talking to a peer counselor is no substitute for a trained psychologist, but it is a nice way to get help in the moment. It is also a great way to feel a sense of community and maintain some sort of social interaction during the pandemic. Just make sure to stay respectful and follow read up on some of their chat rules before entering a room.  


 Calmharm  

 Calmharm is an app that allows users to distract themselves with fun and challenging activities during feelings of anxiety, self-harm or suicide. The person just needs to download the app and then will be given some information about riding an emotional wave. Once the user is done reading, they will be asked a few questions and given a variety of activities to choose from  

 According to the app’s website,” Calm Harm is an award-winning app developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, using the basic principles of an evidence-based therapy called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).Calm Harm provides tasks to help you resist or manage the urge to self-harm. You can make it private by setting a password and personalize the app if you so wish. You will be able to track your progress and notice change.”  

 The app is a great for those that are having trouble getting their minds off of harmful thoughts and include a variety of activities such as naming positive things about yourself, listing your top five favorite movies and naming something that starts with each letter  If nothing else, it is a great way to distract yourself, has timers to check to see if the wave has passed and recommends professional help if the problem persists.  

Download (iOS) Download (Android)


 BetterHelp  

 BetterHelp is an online counseling service that allows individuals to talk to real life therapists about the problems that are troubling them.  Users are first asked a series of questions about themselves and what trouble they are experiencing in their lives, which will ultimately help the sites algorithm connect them to the right counselor.  

 Now, the cost of this service is about 80 dollars a week or 260 dollars a month, but the site does offer financial assistance to those who qualify.  The site also claims that the longer the subscription you have, the less money it will be, which is something else to consider when thinking about using the app.  

 While the price might be a little off-putting, especially in the current crisis, the cost does cover unlimited text messaging, video chats and phone calls with a licensed counselor. If nothing else, it gives you someone to talk to about your feelings from the comfort of your own home and could help you through a rough patch.  

Download (iOS) Download (Android)


 The world is a very uncertain place right now. We are facing so much turmoil in such a short period of time that it is perfectly normal to feel not ok.  In fact, not feeling ok right now is probably the norm at this point and there is absolutely no reason to be ashamed if you are experiencing feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, or even suicidal indentations.  

 The important thing to remember however is that while your mental health might be an ongoing battle, there are ways to make it better and to get back to some sort of normal along the way.  

 There are people out there that want to help you make it better. Whether that be the app creators at Calmharm, the plethora of people at Therapeer or the licensed counselors at Better Help, there are people willing to talk to you right now, lend a listening ear and help ease the pain.  In the end, please take your mental health seriously.

Don’t try to hide it. Don’t isolate yourself and don’t let it keep you from having those tough conversations with the ones you love. They can help you too and be your support system. They can help you through this tough time too and all you have to do is take that first step of reaching out.  It gets better! 

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