Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Web Secret 492: Top Apps for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion

I watched Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas give a stirring presentation"Shining Lights of Hope: EAPs, Leadership and the Social Movement of Suicide Prevention" at the 2016 World EAP Conference. So I paid attention when she published a blog post "15 Top Apps for Resilience, Mental Health Promotion & Suicide Prevention."

In her introduction to the post, she writes: "When we consider a comprehensive strategy to suicide prevention and mental health promotion, it’s helpful to segment approaches into 'upstream' (preventing problems before they emerge through self-help), 'midstream' (catching emerging problems early and linking people to least restrictive support), and 'downstream' (helping people with more serious mental health challenges and suicidal thoughts) tactics.

Thus, for this article, I have organized some of the most popular, best researched and most innovative apps into these three categories."

She lists a number of apps that I have previously posted about - but here are some new ones for you to consider:

Upstream: Resilience Self-Help Apps

Positive Activity Jackpot Developed by t2health, this app uses the phone’s GPS system to find nearby enjoyable distractions. It comes with a clinician’s guide.

Pacifica Pacifica is designed to help people who live with anxiety through soothing meditation and other personalized self-help strategies. Check out the science behind this strategy.

Midstream: Early Detection and Peer Support/Life Coach Apps

DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach Through this app, users can master the skills of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), known for its effectiveness in regulating emotions and interpersonal relationships. Users remind themselves of skills they are trying to develop and track skill use.

Downstream: On-Line Mental Health Services and Suicide Prevention Apps

Koko Developed by researchers at MIT, this app provides help for people in all states of distress from bullying and harassment to suicide and self-harm. Koko provides evidence-based supportive interactions with users while referring users in crisis to international lifelines for immediate help.

Virtual Hope Box The original non-app version of the Hope Box was developed as a tool to help therapists in clinical practice work with their suicidal clients find reasons for living. Clients would find something like a shoe box and fill it with future goals, pictures of loved ones, bucket list experiences, and the like. When they felt their suicidal intensity increase, they would bring out the box to remind themselves of these things.

The Virtual Hope Box (VHB) does this and more. Still designed as something to augment treatment, the VHB helps people live through painful emotional experiences through distraction, inspiration, relaxation, coping, support and reasons for living.

SAMHSA – Suicide Safe This app is designed to help healthcare providers reduce patient suicide risk and is based on the SAFE-T Approach.

Thank you, Sally.

No comments:

Post a Comment