One of the many areas that Occupational Therapists work in is mental health. This is not a specialty area of mine, however mental health issues definitely are areas we all address from time to time, whether in the school system, vocational or in clinical settings.
A comment last week from Linda, asked about mental health apps and the lack of them on this blog. There are not any listed as mental health apps but rather apps that focus on sensory, social stories that address some of the mental health needs we have in the school system. Here are some of the apps that can be used at school that I would consider “mental health apps “:
- Me Moves app
- Relaxation Melodies app
- White Noise app
- Pandora radio app
- Soundscape app
- Pocket Pond app
- Fluid Monkey
- Sparkle Paint
- Marine Aquarium
- SOSH – This is a suite of apps that provides the following sub topics:
- Relax (Block Out, Deep Breathing, Shredder, Imagine, What Helps to customize); Regulate (Self monitor, voice meter)
- Recognize (Triggers, FAcial Expression, Feeling, Shades of Gray)
- Reason areas with other strategies that can be customized for a student/client. This app is geared to individuals with social skill challenges. –
- Moody Me – free, tracks moods given visual icons to choose from
- Time Timer or VisTimer to assist with limits
- Doodle Buddy app –
- White board app (or a low tech dry erase board, or symbol pictures for visual communication) depending on the need of the student.
- First Then app – visual schedule app
Mental health apps are definitely available for students and with a bit of search are being developed for adults as well. Here are some websites reviewing apps and apps for mental health:
- App Store and Mental Health – lists some mental health apps.
- Meditation Oasis – list of meditation, breathing and relaxation apps
Mental Health Apps:
- Mindfuness App – iPad, iPod/iPhone (1.99) Mindfulness meditation app; there is interesting new/current research on the positive effects of mindfullness training
- Breath2Relax – iPad, iPod/iPhone, Android (Free) Portable stress management app
- T2Mood Tracker – iPad, iPod/iPhone, Android (Free) Mood monitor
- My Mood Tracker – iPad, iPod/iPhone (4.99)Tracks moods and emotions
- PTSD Coach – iPad, iPod/iPhone/Android (Free) – Manages symptoms after trauma.
These are just a few of the many other mental health apps including apps that helps with assessment, data gathering and strategies for dealing with mental health issues using a portable electronic device. Some of the breathing and mood tracking apps could potentially be applicable to older students as strategies to train and work on implementation of calming strategies.
I thank Linda for providing me the comment to make me rethink and explore some apps in mental health. I’ll have a few more ideas on some apps that can aid older students when the need arises.
If anyone has any experience with mental health apps, feel free to share!
Apps for your OT iTool Kit!
Hi Carol, I am a psychiatry registrar and I’m really enjoying your blog. I have just started to use an iPad in therapy with the kids I see, mainly for narrative-type therapy, using book creation and doodle programs. I would love to get more ideas on mental health apps for use in therapy. For isntance, I see lots of kids with encopresis (faecal soiling) and the “sneaky poo” narrative that is used in treatment would really lend itself to some sort of app, but I can’t find anything of the sort. More mental health apps would be great.
Mental health is by no means my specialty. It sounds like you have great ideas and a start on some apps. Have you used some of the book creating apps to create your own narratives or social stories.
There are many story telling apps, such as Story Buddy2, Tapikeo is very simple but very easy to use. If you wanted to publish something easily the two forementioned story telling apps could work and as well as Book Creator app which is easy to use. Sonic Pics is another that produces to a slide show that can be emailed.
Following Patrick Black’s suggestion in a prior comment I have also been working with Creative Book Builder app. That company has some other apps – Rapid Book Creator and TouchApp Creator that looks simple and you can produce them in many ways – email ePub, iBooks, etc. making them very useable to different platforms.
If relaxation is something that you use with your therapy a few favorite “sensory- relaxation” apps include Fluidity, Pocket Pond, Fluid that provide interactive sensory experiences for kids. Kids of all ages (including big kids) like these apps.
Good luck to you in your application of apps with your treatment areas. It would be very interesting to hear how you used your apps!