There’s an app for that: are mental health apps effective?

Close up of a man using mobile smart phone

Close up of a man using mobile smart phone

At Mind Waves, we spend a lot of time talking and thinking about the connections between technology and good mental health.

For a lot of people, social media, using an app to track moods or for guided mindfulness is part of what keeps them well. But how do we know whether apps are actually effective? And could some of them even be harmful?

It was interesting to see this article from @rey_z for Wired, which looks at new research on the subject from University of Liverpool. The research found that the experience of paying for and downloading an ineffective app can actually make your mental health worse. But they did find that some apps can be clinically effective- the key lies in good testing and evidence so that we can know the difference.

You can read the whole article here. What do you think? Are apps an important part of a holistic approach to mental wellbeing? Or are we being fobbed off with technology to fill the gaps left by service cuts?

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