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By 2050, the share of people aged 60 years and over will increase from 12% to 22%, meaning more seniors will be prone to developing mental health problems. Every three seconds, someone in the world develops dementia.
Other mental issues, including anxiety, depression, and OCD, also become more frequent. Actually, people in their 20s have the highest sub-clinical and major depression rates.
Even though mitigating the consequences of these and other mental issues is challenging, mobile apps can help a lot. They track the well-being of users, reduce anxiety, and increase personal safety.
Learn more about the types of helpful mental well-being apps and panic button apps below.
Mental well-being apps are versatile, just like the number of mental health issues they can help with. There are some basic apps anyone who wants to relieve stress can use and more advanced solutions to utilize in emergencies.
You are likely to find something for you regardless of your needs and issues. Here are some examples of problems mental health apps can help with:
Dementia. Dementia is a generic term for conditions that impair the person's ability to remember, think, and make critical decisions. People with this problem may easily get lost, forget about turning on the stove, etc. Dementia is the most common among people after 60, many of whom (27%) live alone. These people might benefit from apps that allow them to ask for help and provide additional remote monitoring, including GPS tracking.
Depression. This mental health issue is common across all age groups and hits an increasing number of people. Even though apps cannot help with clinical depression, they can relieve stress, let users communicate with a therapist, join a support chat, etc.
Anxiety. When anxiety is moderate, apps that offer soothing music, exercises, and practices can reduce it. Researchers have already conducted studies proving the efficacy of apps for these issues.
Eating disorders. This group of disorders includes any disorders that make the person preoccupied with their eating habits, looks, and weight. Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are the main ones. Since anxiety is usually the main reason behind such issues, mental well-being apps can help.
Suicidal thoughts. When a person has suicidal throughs, they can either activate the panic button app to inform selected contacts about risks or get in touch with a helpline.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCS involves a pattern of obsessive thoughts that make a person complete repetitive actions (e.g., check whether the door is closed dozens of times). In this case, apps can help limit repetitive behavior and reduce anxiety.
Panic disorders. When a panic attack hits, it's good to have a panic button app to reach for help from your friends or family. They will come to support you or talk to you until the attack ends.
Apart from the listed mental health issues that can be very severe, mental health apps can also benefit people who occasionally suffer from increased anxiety, have stressful jobs, or need a therapist.
Software providers launch more and more mental well-being apps, tailoring their functionality to suit different user groups. Global spending on mobile mental health apps grows annually at a 32% rate.
Here are the types of panic button apps and mental health apps you are the most likely to come across:
Apps for meditation like Headspace or Calm have audio classes and specialized programs that guide people through meditation for relaxation, better sleep, mindfulness, and breathing exercises. You can choose from a bunch of tracks to play when meditating.
Even though such mental well-being apps won't help you get rid of psychological or mental issues, they can make going through a difficult day easier.
When you need them: anxiety, stress, panic disorders.
Platforms for online therapy are popular among people who don't have access to quality help locally or prefer 100% anonymity. For $70-100/week on average, you can tap into text messaging with a therapist, live video, or audio therapy. Some apps from this category also offer therapy for teens and couples, so the range of services is enormous.
Quality therapy apps cooperate only with specialists that have the highest clinical license and several years of direct clinical experience.
When you need them: All types of mental disorders, apart from severe issues like dementia or cases with high suicidal risk
These apps support users on their way to recovery from eating disorders. People can customize their meal plans and set recovery goals. They receive rewards for their achievements, which helps them keep moving and fight their mental and health problems. Eating disorders apps also provide charts, trends, progress visualizations, in-the-moment feedback from a treatment plan, and other handy features.
When you need them: bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and ARFID.
OCD apps are a much smaller category compared to meditation mental well-being apps. Still, you can find solutions like NOCD designed by OCD specialists and patients to support people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. It provides a mindfulness and exposure-response prevention treatment plan and guidance on what to do in OCD episodes.
When you need them: Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Even though this position might look surprising, GPS tracking apps can significantly increase the safety of people with mental disorders. They are beneficial to those who may get lost (like patients with dementia) and people who may urgently need help.
Depending on the functionality, GPS tracking apps can monitor the user's location 24/7 or capture it at the moment of emergency. GPS data enables the friends and family or the user in trouble to provide quick help.
When you need them: Patients with dementia and high suicidal risk.
Panic button apps are for cases when a person with a mental health disorder needs urgent help. For example, your senior family member with Alzheimer's has left the house and cannot return home because they've forgotten where they live. Then, they can click the panic button to send you and other selected contacts emergency alerts.
How do panic button apps work? After installing them on your phone, you add people who will receive alerts in emergencies. Then, when something happens, you only need to click the panic button in your app to let them know you need help.
When you need them: Dementia, high suicidal risk, panic attack.
AllsWell Alert is a personal safety & emergency alert app for monitoring users with mental health issues. It combines the panic button functionality with inactivity monitoring, enabling the app to send your emergency contact an alert with your location even when you cannot press a button.
This app is an excellent choice for patients with severe mental health issues since it allows the primary user and their emergency contacts to stay in touch. When an emergency hits, the person in need can instantly inform their dear ones about it and share GPS location.
Try the AllsWell panic button app for a month to feel safer in emergencies.