By Courtney Kwan
Everyone feels the overwhelming emotions involved in keeping up with the responsibilities of having to work while taking care of yourself or your family. Sometimes you may journal about how you’re feeling or ask family and friends for advice. On occasion, you may even wish you had someone or something to be your instant therapist and provide you with support or a “pick me up” at the click of a button.
While assisting with Hillsides Trauma Informed Care (TIC) initiative, which screens and treats individuals according to how much trauma they have experienced in their lives, and with Hillsides Substance Abuse Program, I decided to research resources I thought would not only be helpful for the population at Hillsides, but to anyone in the community who could use some self-care and reflection. That’s when I came across “mobile therapy” – apps that track emotional well-being and provide quick therapeutic exercises.
There are many such apps out there, but here are my three top suggestions. Two of them track general well-being and one tracks the progress of those recovering from an alcohol addiction:
- ReliefLink Free for Apple and android devices, ReliefLink allows you to create a personalized profile including mental health professionals’ contact information, insurance coverage, and current medications. It tracks your daily moods and thoughts, contains voice-recorded mindfulness and relaxation exercises, and can remind you about appointments and medical dispersal times. The app also has a map locator feature that allows you to find the closest hospitals or treatment centers and an emergency button to dial 911, a helpline, or a counselor.
- Moody Me Available only on Apple products, this app tracks your daily moods, lets you post pictures of what makes you happy or sad, and even plays a slideshow of your “happy” photos. You can use it to record a life event, such as a problem at work, with any symptoms the event has caused, such as anxiety, and what treatment/techniques you’re using to combat the symptoms. Moody Me also provides a forum where you can post questions and receive mental health advice.
- ACHESS Downloadable for android products only, Addiction CHESS is based upon the Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (CHESS). and offers relapse-prevention for alcohol dependent people. What sets ACHESS apart from other apps is its rigorous clinical trials. Studies have shown those that use the app are 65% more likely to abstain from drinking in the year following their release from a treatment center. This is likely due to the apps features, which include issuing daily messages of support, asking weekly questions designed to help counselors assess the individual’s struggle with sobriety, and releasing an alert if people are nearing a bar they used to frequent or their favorite liquor store. ACHESS also features a “panic button” that gives a struggling individual instant access to distractions, reminders, or a nearby friend who can offer support.
Remember, these are just a few of the many mobile therapy resources available. If the three apps above aren’t what you’re looking for, I recommend you try DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach, LiveHappy, Buddy, or Mobilyze.
Don’t be afraid to seek help during stressful times. Use your phone for more than just social media and stay safe.
Courtney Kwan is an intern at Hillsides Family Resource Center, where she incorporates her diverse experiences to assist in researching different types of psychological therapies for Hillsides’ Substance Abuse Program and Trauma- Informed Care initiative. She recently graduated from New York University and aspires to one day practice as a clinical psychologist.