Apps for Mental Health Code Blue vs Operation Reach Out vs MindShift ... and 7 more

Edited by Chris Stipe, Maria, Alma

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While there are many different apps geared towards mental health, knowing which ones are the best for you and actually useful might be harder to figure out. But not to worry, because whether you're looking to boost your mood, manage your anxiety or check in with your mental well being, we've selected the top apps for mental health to help you out in any of these scenarios.

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Not only can mental health apps be effective tools that help make therapy more accessible for those with anxiety disorders, PTSD, and other related disorders, it can also make therapy more efficient and portable too. If you're looking for the best mental health apps that will work for you, here is our top 10 apps for mental health:

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Method 1: Code Blue

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The fastest and simplest way for young people to ask for help, from the people they know and trust. Send an alert to your pre-selected support crew in just one tap. By either texting, calling, or even showing up in person, they will be able to provide immediate support to the person. This is app will always be free and is still in the process of coming out. Please be patient while this happens.

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    1. Send an alert in one-tap to the preselected support crew.
    2. Free mobile app to help young people experiencing depression or bullying, get immediate support.
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    Cost/Fees
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    1. Free version.
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    Download/Install
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    1. Code Blue will be free and is expected to release this spring for both Android and iOS devices.
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Method 2: Operation Reach Out

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Operation Reach Out, a smartphone app from the Military Community Awareness is aimed at helping to prevent suicide amongst military personnel and veterans. This app is designed to encourage people to reach out for help when they are having suicidal thoughts and help those who are concerned about family members, spouses, or fellow service members who may be suicidal.

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    1. Professional help-center comes pre-loaded with phone numbers for suicide prevention hotlines and it is even customizable by each individual user.
    2. 12 compelling video vignettes to help suicidal people by explaining important facts such as your problems can be treated, there are other solutions, etc.
    3. 12 compelling video vignettes to help people who are trying to prevent suicide by explaining what to do, and not to do, when a person is talking about suicide.
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    1. Free version.
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    1. Operation Reach Out can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for iOS devices or from the Google Play Store for Android devices.
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Method 3: MindShift

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Are you struggling with anxiety and tired of missing out? Well, don't worry as there are things you can do to stop the anxiety and fear from controlling your life. MindShift is an app designed to help adults and teens cope with anxiety. Rather than thinking of how you can try and avoid anxiety, it can change how you think about anxiety and make the important shift to face it head on.

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    1. MindShift will help you relax, identify active steps that help you tackle anxiety and develop more helpful ways of thinking.
    2. Includes strategies to deal with everyday anxiety, as well as specific tools to tackle: sleep, riding out intense emotions, social anxiety, worry, panic and more.
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    1. Free version.
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    Download/Install
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    1. MindShift can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for iOS devices or from the Google Play Store for Android devices.
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Method 4: What's My M3?

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While most of us know how to check and read our other important health numbers like your heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, there has never been a way to gauge our mental health numbers until now - with the What's My M3? App. By know your M3 score, you can then get the right treatment, which in turn will give you more success managing all your numbers because mental health affects everything.

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    1. Complete 27 questions to receive an overview of your potential risk of anxiety, depression bipolar disorder or PTSD based on research published in the Annals of Family Medicine.
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    1. Free version.
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    1. What's My M3? can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for iOS devices or from the Google Play Store for Android devices.
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Method 5: Pacifica

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We all know that during the course of living our lives that stress, anxiety, and depression can get in the way. But what if there was an app to help you battle that stress, anxiety, and depression? Well, Pacifica is that app that gives you psychologist-designed tools to address them based on relaxation, mindfulness meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mood/health tracking. All in the power of one app - that's free! How could you go wrong? The answer is - you couldn't!

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    1. Relaxation and mindfulness meditation audio tools to help you calm down in moments of stress or anxiety.
    2. Guided self-help paths that include audio lessons and helpful activities to help you with stress, anxiety, or depression.
    3. Health tracker to set and track daily health goals for habits that affect anxiety (sleep, exercise, caffeine, etc.)
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    1. Free version.
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    1. Pacifica can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for Android devices or from the iTunes App Store for iOS devices.
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Method 6: Breathe2Relax

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Do you want to learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing? Then try out the Breathe2Relax app now, as this portable stress management tool will provide you all the detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and the instructions and practice exercises necessary to learn diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body's 'fight-or-flight' (stress) response, and help with anger control, anxiety management, and mood stabilization.

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    1. Can be used as a stand-alone stress reduction tool or can be used in tandem with clinical care directed by a healthcare worker.
    2. Modify the instructions for when to inhale and when to exhale based on personal preferences.
    3. Simple and easy to use and navigate user interface.
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    1. Free version.
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    1. Breathe2Relax can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for iOS devices or from the Google Play Store for Android devices.
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Method 7: PTSD Coach

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If you feel you're suffering any form of PTSD, then you might want to consider getting the PTSD Coach app. Targeted to help those suffering from a moderate to a mild form of PTSD, this app was designed to help Veterans and Military Service members with the proper education about PTSD, information about personal care, a self-assessment for PTSD, opportunities to find support and the tools needed to help users manage the stresses of daily life.

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    1. Tools range from relaxation skills and positive self-talk to anger management and other common self-help strategies.
    2. Customize the tools based on your preferences and integrate your own contacts, photos, and music.
    3. This app can be used by people who are in treatment as well as those who are not.
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    1. Free version.
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    1. PTSD Coach can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for iOS devices or from the Google Play Store for Android devices.
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Method 8: Smiling Mind

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Developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to people's lives, Smiling Mind is modern meditation, a unique web/app-based program. Meditation is about mental health and looking after the mind, just the same as we eat well and stay fit to keep our body healthy. Smiling Mind is a non-for-profit organization that works to make mindfulness meditation accessible to all.

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    1. Designed to assist people of all ages with the pressure, stress, and challenges of daily life.
    2. Tracking your progress is easy to do and view with a nice clean user interface.
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    1. Free version.
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    1. Smiling Mind can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for iOS devices or from the Google Play Store for Android devices.
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Method 9: Talkspace

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Are you ready to start feeling better? Well now with Talkspace, you can. A therapy and counseling app that gives you the most affordable, convenient, and discreet way to deal with anxiety, chronic illness, stress, depression and more. Whether you're feeling depressed or you're experiencing symptoms of stress, Talkspace is the place for you, as it is a platform that connects users with a licensed therapist. It is also great for couples that need to relieve tension and increase positive feelings in their relationship. It's all right in the palm of your hand!

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    1. Affordable and convenient access to 1000's of licensed therapists.
    2. Connect to a dedicated, licensed therapist for on-demand, private text, video, and audio chat therapy, anywhere and at any time.
    3. Privacy and safety are the number one priority of Talkspace, so you can rest assured knowing your information is secure and safe.
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    Cost/Fees
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    1. Free version. Unlimited/Premium access is $32 per week.
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    1. Talkspace can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for iOS devices or from the Google Play Store for Android devices.
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Method 10: SAM: Self-Help for Anxiety Management

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If you're looking for a serious way to learn to manage your anxiety, then the SAM app is a friendly app that offers a range of self-help methods to help. SAM has been developed by a university team of psychologists, computer scientists, and student users. Combining high standards of usability with established self-help methods to provide a flexible, engaging and practical resource.

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    1. Clearly laid out menus, user guidance, external links, self-monitoring of anxiety with graphic display.
    2. 25 self-help options covering information about the thought process, physical relaxation, mental relaxation, health and anxiety.
    3. Closed social network of SAM users.
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    1. Free version.
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    1. SAM: Self-Help for Anxiety Management can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for iOS devices or from the Google Play Store for Android devices.
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Categories : Software

Recent edits by: Maria, Chris Stipe

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