Apps and Techniques

Some possibly helpful apps: PLEASE SEE NOTE ABOUT APPS AT END OF PAGE

PTSD Coach:  U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - PTSD Coach Developed by the VA, is for anyone experiencing Post Traumatic Stress or wanting to know more to help someone else.

WYSA stress: Depression & anxiety therapy chatbot app (you can pick the free option)

Moving forward: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - Moving Forward  Developed by the VA, is for anyone coping with stressful problems.

Woebot: Your Self-Care Expert  Helps with an array, everyday stresses and challenges, symptoms of depression and addiction.

Mindfulness: Headspace, Insight Timer, Mindfulness Coach, 10% Happier

Other: Provider Resilience, ACT coach, Virtual Hope Box, Well Body Coach, CALMapp 

Examples of possible techniques:

Note: Not all techniques work for everyone, and even if one works one time, it might not work another time.  

 

SBNRR Mindfulness Practice, this can be modified to your needs and time available:

  • Stop -  Stop what you are doing, take the pause, give yourself space. Use verbal or internal mental cues if you need to.

  • Breathe - Everyone is different, for some paying attention to your breath and taking a moment to breathe is helpful, for others you might need a different or combined approach, including skipping and going to Notice. For anyone, you might find you need to try different approaches at different times. 

  • Notice -  Notice what is going on in your body, thoughts, emotions. You are not judging yourself, just noticing what is going on.

  • Reflect -  Where is this coming from?  Why am I feeling this way? Any other curious questions that help clarify the source.

  • Respond -  What is the best way to respond to this and move forward? Again, using whatever questions might help you.

5-4-3-2-1 practice, In your mind, out loud, or written:

  • 5 things I can see.

  • 4 things I can touch.

  • 3 things I can hear.

  • 2 things I can smell.

  • 1 thing I can taste.

SOS Technique, developed by Julian Ford:

  • Slow down – slow down or stop, as needed connect to body and let mind clear.

  • Orient - pay attention to where you are, what you are doing, who you are with, what’s important.

  • Self check -  how stressed or calm you are in the moment and how in control or dysregulated you are.

 

30 second body scan meditation:

https://www.yogiapproved.com/health-wellness/body-scan-meditation/

  1. Get comfortable

  2. Find your breath

  3. Become the observer

  4. Notice even more

  5. Give yourself permission to relax

Mental – Physical – Soothing Grounding, Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/grounding-techniques#bonus-tips 

A few examples:

Mental: list as many things in a category as you can; list categories by the alphabet; do math and number exercises; go through anchoring facts

Physical: Pick up or touch something; breathing exercise; physical activity; use your 5 senses. 

Soothing: picture a face of voice that soothes you; talk yourself kindly through it; list positive things.

Example other technique

Do a blend of mindfulness and physical.  While stretching, walking, so on: What’s the closest/farthest sound I hear? What’s the closest/farthest thing I see? What’s the loudest/quietest sound? How relaxed/tense? So on.

Some things you should consider when using Mental Health or/and Wellness, apps or/and online services.  
Note: I am not an attorney, cannot afford an attorney, have not been able to find language on other sites, and no one I reached out to has responded with language; ergo, this is me trying my best at this time (8.5.22), and is provided for information only. 

•    How do they protect my privacy?  Are there steps I can take to protect my privacy? 
•    Are they ethical in their practices? 
•    What is the benefit/cost/risk of using them? 

How do they protect my privacy? Are there steps I can take to protect my privacy?

How to protect your privacy while using mental health apps. July 18,2022 NPR 
https://www.npr.org/2022/07/18/1110699297/betterhelp-talkspace-privacy-data-tips-online-therapy    

Top Mental Health and Prayer Apps Fail Spectacularly at Privacy, Security.  May 2, 2022, Mozilla 
https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/blog/top-mental-health-and-prayer-apps-fail-spectacularly-at-privacy-security/  The Guide linked in the articles gives: info about the individual app; what could happen if something goes wrong; tips to protect yourself; and info on the app’s privacy, security, and AI.   A couple of notes about the guide, (based on a quick review): 
-    It’s a little confusing and takes reading through. 
-    It appears to be being ongoingly updated, e.g., Sesame Street was updated June 9th, after updating their privacy policy and addressing Mozilla’s security concerns. (Going back to the prior note, while they updated the narrative part with that info, they didn’t update their rating.)

Are they ethical in their practices? 

This is an example: Clinical Social Work Association: LEGISLATIVE ALERT - CareDash, BetterHelp and LCSWs - 7-30-22  https://www.clinicalsocialworkassociation.org/Legislative-Alerts/12868204?fs=e&s=cl&fbclid=IwAR1gMqKt-MYCCMFLeEVgTjIyWZZtU8iwbzQXGQiDAawM9vKOxRZyA9PM60I    

What is the benefit/cost/risk of using them? Didn’t find a helpful link for this one.  

Some Child and Youth specific information for online safety: