On September 9, 2015, Jeff Perron, a University of Ottawa doctoral student released a new Mental Health app titled TruReach Health. I read about it, downloaded it (for free) and gave it a trial run.
According to the description on iTunes “TruReach is mental wellness on-the go. TruReach has broken down cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) into quick, 5-minute lessons and packed them into the TruReach app”. It goes on to emphasize that this app is meant to be along the lines of a self-help book.
As reported in the Ottawa Citizen, Perron said “This isn’t a replacement for therapy or medication, but it’s a new option that you have. It’s to give people something where there’s nothing.”
Each lesson is given in the form of a short animated video. You have to watch each one in sequence. Watching number one unlocks number two and so on. There are eighteen lessons altogether. The first twelve are free and there is a fairly low fee ($7.99) for the last six. The money collected will be directed toward future development of this resource.
There is much I like about this app.
The videos are well done. The information is clearly laid out and feels just right to me. The tone of voice in the videos is encouraging and hope-filled. Practice of each new skill is built into the design. There is a thought journal component on this app. The design is crisp and clean. I also like the ability to measure one’s progress using the DASS21 and CESD-R . Overall TruReach seems to be well-thought out.
Having said all that I do have a few concerns. One reviewer pointed out that before you even see any privacy statement you have to provide your full name and email address. Once you do provide your personal information you are taken to the page of the app that describes their privacy statement. Maybe it’s a minor point.
One other privacy consideration – I took the “test” on the app that measures one’s progress. There is an option to “share this test result”. When you click on the link it opens an email with an email address for truhealth.com already filled in. There is a chance that someone may click ‘send’ without knowing who will receive that information and there is also no description as to what will be done with the results if you do send it to trureach. If a client did choose to send their results to me I would have some concerns about the security of the email.
And finally, the website – http://www.trureachhealth.com/ has no contact information, privacy statement or indication as to where in the world it originates from. I know because I read the press release.
All those concerns aside, I do think TruReach could be useful. Check it out for yourself.
Dawn M. Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate counsellor with Worldwide Therapy Online Inc. http://www.therapyonline.ca
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA