Digital is an increasingly popular medium for young people who are looking for support with their mental health. Many value the anonymity and confidentiality that apps can offer.  Apps can give you control over when you can access support and you can log-off at any stage.  However, with over 327,000 health apps currently available, how do you know that the apps you are using are safe and helpful? 

The below apps have been through a review process by Centre staff with support from professionals, parents and carers and young people themselves.  The apps are approved either by the NHS, ORCHA or Our Mobile Health and are free to download.  These organisations take the apps through a robust process of review to ensure they are safe and appropriate for young people.  This doesn’t mean that other apps won’t help, just that these apps are ones that we’re confident have been approved by other trusted organisations as being suitable for young people.   

The links below will take you to more information regarding each app.  You may have to download the app direct from your app store. 

Apps delivering self-help strategies

The links below take you to third-party apps.  At last review, all apps were being provided for free by the provider.  Some may ask you to download an app and some may require registration.  Please contact the app provider if you have any questions before downloading.

7 Cups - An on-demand emotional health service and online therapy provider. Anyone who wants to talk about whatever is on their mind can quickly reach out to a trained, compassionate listener through our network. 7 Cups have hundreds of listeners who come from all walks of life and have diverse experiences.. Our listeners just listen. They understand. They give you the space you need to help you clear your head. 

Calm Harm - Calm Harm is an app designed to help people resist or manage the urge to self-harm. It's private and password protected. This app is provided free by the NHS. 

Catch it - Learn how to manage feelings like anxiety and depression with Catch It. The app will teach you how to look at problems in a different way, turn negative thoughts into positive ones and improve your mental wellbeing. This app is provided free by the NHS. 

Chill Panda - Learn to relax, manage your worries and improve your wellbeing with Chill Panda. The app measures your heart rate and suggests tasks to suit your state of mind. Tasks include simple breathing techniques and light exercises to take your mind off your worries. This app is provided free by the NHS. 

distrACT - The distrACT app gives you easy, quick and discreet access to information and advice about self-harm and suicidal thoughts. The content has been created by doctors and experts in self-harming and suicide prevention. This app is provided free by the NHS. 

Happify - Happify includes science-based activities and games which can help you overcome negative thoughts, stress and life’s challenges. 86% of people who used Happify regularly report feeling better about their lives in 2 months. Please note you can get access to some support in the free version, but Happify plus is a paid for service. 

MindDoc - MindDoc (previously known as Moodpath) helps you track your emotional state to detect patterns and identify areas for improvement. It checks in on you and provides regular mental health reports. It offers a range of courses, meditations, sleep aids and other resources. If youre struggling with depression or anxiety MindDoc will help guide you toward emotional wellbeing. 

NHS Go - The NHS Go app provides young people with confidential health advice and greater access to health information. You can find local services in some areas and learn about health and your rights as a user of the NHS. This app is provided free by the NHS. 

Pzizz - The Pzizz app helps you quickly calm your mind, fall asleep fast, stay asleep, and wake up refreshed. It uses "dreamscapes" – a mix of music, voiceovers and sound effects designed using the latest clinical research – to help you sleep better at night or take power naps during the day. This app is provided free by the NHS. 

Student Health App - The Student Health App provides easy access to more than 900 pages of reliable health information all in one place. The content has been created for university students by NHS doctors and is regularly updated. Use the app to reduce your worries, feel more confident and get the support you need at what can be a challenging time for any student. This app is provided free by the NHS. 

Superbetter - Superbetter is a game for those aged 13+ played in real life to build resilience and success. Playing superbetter unlocks heroic potential to achieve goals that matter. Helps to tackle challenges including anxiety and depression.  

TalkLife - TalkLife is an online peer support community for young people aged 16+ to get support for their mental health and the ups and downs of life. With 24/7 real time moderation and clinical governance, the app provides a safe and engaging global network for people to get instant ongoing support via their phones any time of day or night. 

ThinkNinja - ThinkNinja is a mental health app designed for 10 to 18 year olds. Using a variety of content and tools, it allows young people to learn about mental health and emotional wellbeing, and develop skills they can use to build resilience and stay well. This app is provided free by the NHS during the coronavirus crisis. 

Thrive - Thrive helps you prevent and manage stress, anxiety and related conditions. The game based app can be used to relax before a stressful situation or on a more regular basis to help you live a happier, more stress-free life. This app is provided free by the NHS. 

Togetherall - Togetherall is an online community for people who are stressed, anxious or feeling low. The service has an active forum with round-the-clock support from trained professionals. You can talk anonymously to other members and take part in group or 1-to-1 therapy with therapists. This app is provided free by the NHS. 

What young people have told us:

'I found these sort of apps helpful in term of tracking my mood and identifying at what times of the day my mood is at the lowest. However i didn't find it useful in terms of how to combat this low mood.'

'I would say to make sure you find an app that is right for you. There are literally hundreds of these apps and websites. You will have to try a few before you find a good app.'

There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.

If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.

Did this activity help your mental wellbeing?

If yes, why do you think it helped?

What would you say to other young people who are thinking of trying this?

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