Speak Up. Reach Out is Freshered's mental health initiative.
Anyone who has tried to get mental health help will know the difficulties of the systems in place. The waitlist for CBT is at least 12 months, the price of private therapy is extortionate, and getting a diagnosis takes a lifetime. Solely depending on these systems to make us feel better often has the opposite effect.
I do not recommend giving up on getting help, but it is useful to find ways to emotionally regulate alongside these channels. One of these ways is through apps. You’ve probably heard of some mental health apps and perhaps you’ve even tried them. I have to admit, I was initially sceptical to use them. But I’ve often found the quick access and simple set up works in times of distress. So here are a few tried and tested mental health apps.
Calm harm is an app aimed to reduce the urge to self-harm. It compares the urge to harm as a ‘wave’ and offers 5-15 minute activities to help you ride it. The app offers five categories based on what you may need at the time: comfort, distract, express, release and random if you aren’t sure. It also allows you to self- monitor by offering a journal and activity log. As well as a safety net, which you personally design to help you in crisis.
Clear Fear outlines different types of anxiety, from separation and FOMO to OCD. It offers immediate help to prevent panic and offers 60-second breathing exercises. You can personalise this app with a safety net and encouraging quotes. This app aims to ‘clear your fear’ and has different activities to manage and respond to worries and emotions. It’s a great way to self monitor and easily accessible in a public place.
MindShift CBT- Anxiety relief
Mindshift uses strategies based on CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to alleviate anxiety and reduce stress. The clean design helps you learn more about self-management in an easy and portable way. You try thought and belief challenges, journal and practise mindfulness. It’s a great stress-free app with useful coping mechanisms.
The Move Mood app is designed to help manage low mood and depression. It helps you set tasks and reminds you to complete them at a time of your choice. The tasks are ranked: routine, necessary and enjoyable, and your own personal mood buddy helps you with them. For each task you rank how difficult you find it and how you felt when you’ve completed it. It is a useful app which helps remind you to do the tasks that become unbearable when battling with mental illness.