This post is to showcase a few apps that could really support parents and educators on a variety of topics.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) developed these three apps.
KnowBullying provides resources and guidance for parents, caregivers, and educators on ways to prevent bullying and build resilience in children. The app features conversation starters, warning signs of bullying behavior, and helpful resources for educators.
Suicide Safe is a new suicide prevention app for mobile devices (optimized for tablets) that helps health care providers assess suicide risk and determine appropriate next steps for at-risk patients. The app features conversation starters, interactive sample case studies, and real-time access to behavioral health treatment facilities.
Stop, Breathe & Think It provides dozens of guided meditations for all types of purposes. The app even recommends meditations based on how you feel mentally, physically and emotionally. It also rewards you with stickers as you meditate more and more. Another Stop, Breath & Think for Kids is also available.
Breathe2Relax is a portable stress management tool which provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and instructions and practice exercises to help users learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ (stress) response, and help with mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management.
Insight Timer Everyone talks about how great meditation is for your mental health but if it still feels too daunting, Insight Timer is a great place to start. The app meets you where you are, whether it’s your first time, or you’re a pro. Plus, you can connect with plenty of other users across the world with an activity feed (though of course, meditation isn’t a competition).
Koko In this app’s first life, it was a website called Panoply developed by an MIT researcher as a social network for people with depression. And it functions much the same way in its app form.
Users can share problems, feelings, or thoughts with the community, and get feedback from others. How does this help? The idea is based on a form of a well-established cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) technique called “reappraisal,” which is a way to help reframe negative thoughts. For example, you can share an experience like having a bad day at work, or a fight with your S.O., and the community might offer alternative readings of that situation to help you not jump to negative conclusions. (Like you’re going to get fired or you and your partner are breaking up.)
The best news of all: A 2015 study of the original website found that this approach significantly improved participants depression symptoms after just 25 minutes per week for three weeks.
Happify The main goal of this app is to just “feel happier,” and the program gives you plenty of options for working toward that goal. You’ll get to choose a path of activities that reflects what that really means for you.
You’ll start by taking a test to see where you’re at and how you tend to approach tough, stressful spots in your life. Then the app will suggest a path based on your answers. To move along the path, you’ll complete gratitude exercises, do a little meditation, and learn a lot about yourself along the way.
Apps at a cost
Journal Your Emotions with Ease Track your mood with “my story” as often as you want with just a couple of taps. We’ll track your emotional state for you so you can look back and learn about what might be blocking you from living your best life.
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