I attended a Positive Education School Association conference which gave me an opportunity to gain access to resources, stories of best practice, latest research and linking us with leaders in the field of Positive Education. I wanted to share with you some really exciting Mental Health and Wellbeing apps that we were introduced to and would encourage you to have a look at these apps when you get a chance and share with your students .
Some background reproduced from the Young and Well CRC website …..
Online technologies offer a significant opportunity to improve the mental health of young people, we need to engage with young people in environments where they interact. The Internet is increasingly being used to provide health information and resources, as it offers low cost, anonymous, and 24/7 access for young people. Internet access by young people is close to saturation – over 95 percent of young Australians (18 to 25 years old) regularly use the internet or a mobile phone for social networking or information. Most importantly, young people report feeling comfortable accessing online information about mental health issues, and the anonymity of online interventions extends access to young people who would otherwise avoid services (Oh, Jorm & Wright 2008). Most youth mental health research in Australia has focused on the treatment of young people with established mental disorders. Online interventions for a range of mental disorders and problematic health behaviours (e.g. depression, anxiety, smoking, weight) have demonstrated efficacy, and the number of programs available is growing rapidly (Mitchell, Vella-Brodrick & Klein 2010).
The Young and Well CRC is an Australia-based, international research centre that explores the role of technology in young people’s lives, and to determine how those technologies can be used to improve the mental health and wellbeing of those aged 12 to 25. Youth participation is central to their work. In partnership with Reach Out, Beyond Blue , Young and Well have developed some great apps that supports the mental health and wellbeing of young people.
Here are a few that we were impressed with and they are now available to download.
Recharge sleep app
Recharge is an app which offers a personalised 6 week program that’s focused on improving mood, energy and wellbeing by putting in place good sleep/wake patterns.
ReachOut WorryTime App
ReachOut WorryTime is a free mobile app that gives you a place to store your worries, and alerts you when it’s time to think about them. When a worry no longer matters to you, you can ditch it and move on.
This apps helps to:
- Manage your stress levels
- Make you feel more in control of your anxiety or stress
- Develop a regular and effective method of dealing with day-to-day worries
- Make you feel less overwhelmed
What is WorryTime?
You can’t control the thoughts that pop into your head, but you can control what you do with them. The WorryTime app allows you to control everyday stress and anxiety by acting as a place to store your daily worries.
Once you’ve entered your worries into the WorryTime app, you can customise the settings to suit your schedule. Choose a time in the day that works best for you, and WorryTime will send you an alert when it’s time to think about what’s been stressing you out. You can update your schedule when it changes, and you can choose the amount of time you want to spend thinking about your worries.
The Check-in App
The Check-in app was designed by beyondblue and Two Bulls in consultation with young people to help take the fear out of having a conversation with a friend who might be struggling. This is often not an easy conversation to have.
This app provides building blocks for how you would approach your friend and gives you a confidence boost to know what to do if your friend does need support. It helps young people plan a conversation of where they will have the conversation, what they will ask, what they have noticed and what they can do to support their friend. Young people also have the chance to rate the conversation through the app and get advice on the next steps in helping their friend while looking after their own mental health.
The Check-in app provides links to a range of online and phone services appropriate for young people in Australia. It also provides tips and advice from young people who have been through these conversations with friends. It’s free to download from Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Goalzie app kicking goals for teen wellbeing
A new free app called Goalzie has been developed for young people aged 12 to 17 to encourage them to focus on positive mental health and wellbeing. Based on innovative research and developed in collaboration with teenagers, the app promotes developing a supportive social network and positive behaviour choices.
The interactive app encourages peer-to-peer interactions and goal-setting by giving users the opportunity to challenge friends to do ‘Truth or Dare’ activities, such as giving up chocolate for a week, making a video or doing a dance workout. The challenges have been carefully developed to encourage positive outcomes such as physical exercise, self-regulation or creativity. For unachieved goals, players are asked to complete a set of not-too-appealing consequences such as washing the family car or weeding the garden.
The app was created by the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre and the University of South Australia, in conjunction with the Western Sydney University, Zuni and the Queensland University of Technology. The development process involved a series of creative workshops with young people, encouraging them to test, improve and design the app themselves.
Associate Professor Jane Burns, CEO of the Young CRC, said: “Through apps like Goalzie we are trying to break down stigma and instil help-seeking behaviour using humour and gaming.”
By Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre
Breakup Shakeup provides ideas for fun, easy things to do to help you cope after a breakup. The app teaches you that planning activities and increasing your social support will help you recover faster.
Music to guide improved mood: Music eScape App
A clever and creative new iPhone app that allows users to customise their music playlist based on their mood, and then map desired improvements of their state of mind.
Music eScape has the exciting potential to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of young people, based on evidence that music therapy has been found to assist individuals with mental health problems.
According to the team, led by Associate Professor Leanne Hides, Music eScape aims to help young people identify, express and modify their mood using music
Director of Wellbeing