I know, I know. Yet another app. This is no ordinary app though. The Royal, “one of Canada’s foremost mental health care and academic health sciences centres”, developed the Healthy Minds app. Aimed at post-secondary students, Healthy Minds is “a problem-solving tool to help deal with emotions and cope with the stresses you encounter both on and off campus.”
When you download Healthy Minds it opens with a short explanatory video showing you how to make best use of the app. The authors of the app ask that you do three things – think about one problem you want to focus on, write what led to the problem, what thoughts, feelings and behaviours this problem caused and what happened after the problem. Why? As Dr. Simon Hatcher says in the video, “So you can change how you react in the future”.
In the Mood section you are prompted with a “how are you feeling?” and you can choose from nine moods. When you click on the submit button you are then sent to a text box where you can write about “what happened before you felt this way”. You can even add a photo if you wish. Once you submit this text, depending on the emotion you chose, you there are helpful suggestions. For example, if you choose “angry” you will be asked if you want to take a moment to try the Breathe activity.
I agree with one reviewer who said they would like to see more moods to choose from. They suggested that “motivation” be included. I work with post-secondary students everyday and I know that motivation or the lack of motivation can be a big issue.
There is a Timeline feature that keeps track of your moods. The Activities section includes Breathe, Stress Buster, Mind and Body information and my favourite – Problem Solving. Each of the activities includes information, strategies and resources.
Under the Learn section you will find information for youth, friends and caring adults. There are warning signs, coping strategies, resources and each page ends with a “want to talk to someone?” link.
If you have any concerns about privacy the Healthy Minds app does not transmit information and is only stored on your personal device.
Healthy Minds is easy to use and strikes me as an excellent tool to share with students or any youth. You can download it for free from the iTunes store or Google Play.
Dawn M. Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate of Worldwide Therapy Online Inc.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA