If you have a smart phone, you may be aware that there are apps for almost everything, including mental health and wellbeing. Are mental health apps benefical, or are they harmful?

Mental Health Apps Can Help

If a mental health app is based on scientific research, it has the potential to do some good and help you overcome difficulties like stress, anxiety, and depression. Research-based apps often use one or more proven approaches to mental health like mindfulness, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and positive psychology. They offer interactive ways to help you recognize and overcome negative thoughts that keep you stuck, center your emotions, and choose positive actions in your life. When used regularly and sometimes in conjunction with psychotherapy, these apps can help you improve your perspective and give you tools to calm yourself in the face of emotional or situational upheaval.

When Mental Health Apps Might Harm

Apps aren’t substitutes for professional mental health care, and they can’t assist people in crisis. They also aren’t great for people dealing with severe mental illness.