Mental Health Phone Apps Around Campus

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This post is to showcase a few apps that could really support parents and educators on a variety of topics.

Free APPS

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.

Talk.  They hear you.  (Underage Drinking Prevention)Practice talking to your kids about the dangers of alcohol. Prepare for one of the most important conversations you may ever have with your kids about underage drinking. SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” app is available on desktop computers and on the go.  Learn More.  

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

Larkr

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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Articles

New Apps Give Teens Easier, Persistent Access To Mental Help

Do mental health mobile apps work: evidence and recommendations for designing high-efficacy mental health mobile apps by Pooja Chandrashekarcorresponding author

New mental health app reaching out to help students in the aftermath of mass shooting in Parkland

 

 

Developing Positive Self Talk in School Age Children

I can do it

There has been a lot of recent buzz around the idea of the “Growth Mindset” from Carol S. Dweck. A piece of the “Growth Mindset” is developing in inner monologue of “I can”. Which ends up being how to tame the invading negative thoughts. This post is dedicated to developing the “I can” in school-age kids.

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General

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Improving Achievement Through Self-Talk – Trish Spencer

Five Key Points

In What Students Say to Themselves: Internal Dialogue and School Success (Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2000), William Watson Purkey suggests the following five points to keep in mind as you try to shape students’ self-talk:

  1. What significant people think about students and how they act toward students influences how students define themselves.
  2. How students define themselves in their internal dialogue influences their academic success and failure.
  3. Everything the school does and the way things are done influences what students say to themselves.
  4. Altering how students define themselves involves altering the total school environment.
  5. The task of the school is to structure experiences that reduce crippling self-talk while inviting students to define themselves in essentially positive and realistic ways. (p. 77)

Research of Positive Self Talk

Coping Thoughts

 Stop, and breathe, I can do this
 This will pass
 I can be anxious/angry/sad and still deal with this
 I have done this before, and I can do it again
 This feels bad, it’s a normal body reaction – it will pass
 This feels bad, and feelings are very often wrong
 These are just feelings, they will go away
 This won’t last forever
 Short-term pain for long-term gain
 I can feel bad and still choose to take a new and healthy direction
 I don’t need to rush, I can take things slowly
 I have survived before, I will survive now
 I feel this way because of my past experiences, but I am safe right now
 It’s okay to feel this way, it’s a normal reaction
 Right now, I am not in danger. Right now, I’m safe
 My mind is not always my friend
 Thoughts are just thoughts – they’re not necessarily true or factual
 This is difficult and uncomfortable, but it’s only temporary
 I can use my coping skills and get through this
 I can learn from this and it will be easier next time

Source

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Specific Strategies

Help your learner see the positive by Reframing their Thoughts in a positive light.

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STOP Plan

Scared?
Thoughts?
Other helpful thoughts?
Praise and Plan!

 Developing and Using Cognitive Coping Cards

Example of Coping Card-

My Coping Card to Beat Anxiety!
1. Anxiety is not dangerous. It can’t hurt me! It’s just a bully!
2. I can boss back my anxiety. I have done it before!
3. If my heart is racing, I get sweaty, and my tummy hurts. That means that my anxiety
is acting up. I’m not in danger.
4. I could do some relaxation now.

My Coping Card to Beat Anxiety!
1. My face is getting hot and my head is getting dizzy! My anxiety is acting up again!
2. Maybe I need to use the STOP plan now! *
3. If I’m feeling anxious, I could do some calm breathing to calm down.
4. I have lots of friends at school, and they like me even when I get anxious. They told
me so.

coping tool box

Source

power-of-positivity-workshopPOWER OF POSITIVITY PRINTABLE WORKSHOP

This is a printable workshop with a selection of activities, worksheets and craft ideas plus 30 exercises to help you develop a positive mindset.  To be used at home or in the classroom; for kids and/or adults. Cost 9.99