What should I look for in a mental health app?
There are several things to consider when looking for a mental health app to download. The first is to look for an app that offers flexibility and customisation. Whilst you may want to just rate your mood on a sliding scale, look for an app that allows you to add extra notes to get a clearer picture.
Another thing to look for is shareability. You might choose to share the app with your therapist or GP to get an idea if you need extra support. If you are taking antidepressants, you may want to share information with your doctor so they can alter your dose going forward.
Privacy & Security.
Firstly, let’s talk about privacy. If you’re thinking of using a mental health app, you want to make sure that your data is as private and secure as possible.
Both the Apple App Store and Android Play Store make it easy to review the measures taken by an app to keep your data private and secure. These measures include an explanation of:
- What data is being collected
- What data is being shared
- Why this data is being collected
- Whether collecting the data is optional
- The security practices of the App
Some important things to look out for are:
- Can your data be deleted?
- How much Personally Identifiable Data (PII) is being collected and for what reason?
- Is your data encrypted?
Note. If you live in the US and are concerned about details of your reproductive health being shared with law enforcement officials, you can look for apps that are based outside of the US and that fall outside of the jurisdiction of the US legal system.
One of the best ways to determine which mental health app is right for you is to read other people’s testimonials. Specifically looking for reviews written by people with similar mental health conditions. If using a counselling app, it’s important to ensure the therapists are accredited and qualified.
Insights & Reports.
One of the unique benefits of mental health apps is you can use them to identify what may help and worsen your mental health. For example…
- Mood trends so you can understand how certain triggers impact your mental well-being.
- Correlations between your mental health and medication or therapy.
- How a specific event or change may be impacting your overall mood score.