Mental health is vitally important, because of the impact poor mental health has on lives. Poor mental health, and mental illness can disrupt lives and relationships, our bodies, and be completely debilitating.
However, as with physical health, there is a lot we can do to promote our mental health. Today's blog looks at some free online resources.
Catch It is a joint project between the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester, to help users better understand their moods through use of an ongoing diary.The app was designed to illustrate some of the key principles of psychological approaches to mental health and well-being, and specifically Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). it includes a Mood tracker and Mood diary. Once you become aware of your moods, and your thinking, you're equipped to start changing your thinking.
Available through Google Play or the app store, Chill panda uses your smart phone's heart rate monitor and asks you to log your mood. It presents you with fun activities and games to help you reduce stress. It's a great one for kids to use.
Maintaining a positive mental outlook is essential to mental health. The Feeling Good app is accredited by NHS digital The app contains a series of 12 audio tracks to help you build essential skills, not only to deal with mental stresses and strains, but to bounce forwards and become mentally stronger and more resilient.
What's up uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) methods to help you cope with Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and more. The questions help you understand your thoughts and emotions, and offer strategies to deal with negative thinking.
WorryTree helps you record, manage and problem solve your worries and anxiety based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques.
More free and paid apps are listed here, including ones for dealing with addiction, self harm and specific issues: Top Mental Health Apps: An Effective Alternative for When You Can't Afford Therapy?
Aside from apps, there are many other ways to find help online for mental health:
- Social media allows us to connect with friends and family, as long as it is used well, and not abused by bullies and trolls.
- Online forums: there are many online forums which provide support, like Sane; Mental Health Forum; Side by Side from Mind UK etc.
- Ted Talks (TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). Have a range of topics related to mental health that can help you learn strategies to improve your mental health.
- Dr Henry Cloud is a Christian psychologist who is very practical in his approach. Throughout the pandemic, he has run a daily call in radio show on Youtube, and many of his messages are also on Youtube. I am a huge fan, and his work has been life transforming for me.
- Yoga teaches you to manage your mind and body, and the breathing exercises in particular are an essential tool in managing stress, anxiety and panic. I'm a fan of Adrienne, but there are others who also offer free classes on Youtube.
- Mindfulness is another strategy for learning to live in the moment, and deal with stress and anxiety. You can learn more here. There are many sessions on Youtube that you can follow to practise.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but we hope that you'll find something in there that you like, and that helps you.