Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Web Secret #115: Apps for All

Mental health professionals are among the slowest adopters of smartphones and other cutting edge technologies like the iPad. As recently as 2 years ago, I recall attending a large clinical conference (over 1,000 attendees) and exactly one person had an iPhone.

This is changing slowly, and that's a good thing because smartphone and iPad apps are among the most useful resources for professionals and their clients.

Once the clinician has purchased their Droid or iPhone, they are often slow to download work relevant apps. This is not surprising given the fact that there are around 150,000 apps in the iPhone App Store alone — with some 10,000 apps being added each month. How do you access the best?

One psychotherapy relevant app is Panic Control, developed by Dr. Laurie Richer, a University of California, San Francisco, Professor of Psychiatry. Her goal was to provide cognitive behavioral techniques proven to help reduce the symptoms of a panic attack.
“The Panic Control app serves to immediately remind sufferers of the medical and psychiatric facts about panic attacks and help alleviate some of their worst fears. It then provides guided instructions on how to relax ... and reframe thoughts via psychologically insightful mantras.”

So now you know about this app and can assign it to your anxiety-ridden client. But what about meeting the needs of your other patients? Certainly you could spend the time combing through apps yourself and downloading them to check out their quality and relevance.

Or you could access meta-apps or "apps of apps".

Dan Cohen MSW, a social worker with a lifetime of experience connecting people with quality-of-life enhancing technology created Apps for All because he believes that smartphone and iPad apps have the potential to improve the lives of both clients and practitioners.

Apps for All identifies the best mental health and wellness related apps and groups them into categories for easy access and use. For example, for clients suffering from anxiety and other emotional issues, the categories include “Relaxation”, “Memory & Focus”, and “Mood Lifters.”

Clients who are caregivers may benefit from apps in the “Caregiving”, “Alzheimers” and “Autism” categories.

Panic Control is one of the twenty-five apps recommended in the Relaxation category.

Finally clients with health related concerns such as smoking, obesity, and others may find helpful resources in the “Dialysis” and “Health Tracker” categories.

The various app categories can be purchased individually for under a dollar each. The entire Healthful Apps collection can be acquired for under $3.00.

Good thing there's an app for that.

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