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Apps tackle mental health issues

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest apps are providing meaningful support to people living with mental health problems.

An international team of researchers, led by academics from Harvard Medical School, reported in September that smartphone apps could be ‘capable of providing instantly accessible and highly effective treatments for depression‘.

And a new study by scientists at Brigham Young University (BYU) backs this up. A survey by the American university asked around 600 people how effective mental health apps, and physical performance apps, were. And the response from users of mental health apps was more than promising, with 90% saying they helped generate positive feelings and improved levels of confidence.

“Our findings show that mental and emotional health focused apps have the ability to positively change behaviour. This is great news for people looking for inexpensive, easily accessible resources to help combat mental and emotional health illness and challenges,” said Ben Crookston, associate professor of health science at BYU.

The BYU team now plans to assess the different types of apps, including meditative, medication adherence, and stress management, to pinpoint which are the most effective.

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