Mental Health App Development

Mental Health App Development

It is becoming increasingly popular to build mental health apps, but given their sensitive nature, it isn’t easy. Due to Covid-19, the lockdown has become the norm for most organizations, making mental health applications more and more popular each year. As stress relievers and meditation apps become more popular, more and more people are using them at home. Although these apps address delicate issues, they are difficult to create, since they address delicate issues. In this article, you’ll find advice, recommendations, and challenges in this article if you’re considering such an endeavour.

How mental health plays a role in society

There has been widespread attention paid to mental health in recent years. Pandemic stress has certainly worsened our already high levels of stress. Several magazines cover full spreads about mental health; celebrities discuss their struggles openly. Mental health policies are being introduced in some countries, including Australia and the United Kingdom.

As a result of these factors, it’s no surprise that the demand for mental health professionals continues to increase. A therapist is always a good idea, but in-person treatment is not the only option when mental health is deteriorating. You can also benefit from mental health apps.

Mental Health Apps: Why Are They So Popular?

The importance of mental health has never changed, but in today’s world, it is a topic that is more widely discussed. There has been less stigma attached to using apps to manage mental health.

It gives people options to take care of themselves and be healthy. One approach to mental health is rarely sufficient for mental health. Instead, it requires a full toolkit. Nowadays, when connections, routines, and even in-person support can be challenging, that has never been more important.

Having mental health apps available on smart devices is one way in which people are normalizing talking about, and focusing on, mental health. As easy as ordering food or checking the weather, you can now incorporate mental health into your daily routine.

People are still reluctant to seek help from a therapist, even though mental health is becoming more widely recognized. There are several reasons for this:

  • Lack of financial resources to cover long-term care.
  • Inability to schedule regular appointments with a therapist.
  • Sessions cannot be accommodated due to inflexibility and the need to rearrange schedules.
  • It is difficult to find a decent therapist.
  • Therapists are not readily available in some countries.
  • “Crazy” people and “lost causes” are the only people who should seek counseling.
  • It is a fear that you will be found out and ridiculed.
  • Mental health information will be withheld by a therapist.
  • It’s awkward to discuss deeply personal issues with someone you don’t know.

At least in part, mobile apps solve most of the concerns listed above. Using mental health applications helps you avoid the need to go to a therapist’s office and provides you with greater flexibility. Also, using an app makes it easier to hide counselor visits than it is to hide counselor trips.

The features you should look for in a mental health app

Managing mental health does not require a secret recipe. To succeed, you must do the basics correctly. Keeping a routine, eating well, sleeping well, and staying positive is important.

Imagine creating a mental health tracker that users could use to assess their mental health condition. Would mental health software be the best choice? Would you be interested in creating a mental health app?

To help your users keep track of their mental health, here are some must-have mental health application features!

1. Audio, video, and text messaging

This app should allow users to send text messages, audio messages, and video messages. Psychotherapists will be able to provide online mental health consultations to patients through this service. Each feature can be accessed by the level of comfort the user is comfortable. They can communicate with their therapists via chat if they are uncomfortable speaking over audio or video calls. By sharing their problems, they are encouraged to be flexible.

2. A self-monitoring system

People with mental disorders mostly use stress-management apps to monitor their symptoms and progress, while mentally healthy people use them to explore their mood patterns and handle stress. As a self-monitoring program that records meals, thoughts, and feelings, Eating Disorder Management is greatly appreciated by users.

3. Mental health workshops and webinars

A webinar and weekly session should be available on the app for the patients. There could be a discussion about mental health and how to combat-related issues on the agenda. Every patient should have access to these sessions. After each webinar or session, patients could also receive a certificate. Thus, they can celebrate the accomplishment as a milestone in their fight against their problems.

4. Dashboards that are customized

By including tracking features, the system displays information in a convenient and comprehensible way for patients and doctors alike. Dashboards can prove invaluable when tracking patients’ health. A single location for all data lets doctors develop better treatment plans and monitor patient health more efficiently. The result is that patients receive better treatment and receive more attention, and therefore are more likely to engage in their therapy.

5. Reminders and notifications

A customized notification promotes self-monitoring through tailored suggestions. In the reminders, it is recommended that users relax, take a walk, and do other things that will benefit their mental health. People with busy schedules appreciate getting notifications reminding them to exercise their minds. A constant stream of notifications, on the other hand, can cause users to become stressed, as psychologists warn.

6. Machine learning and artificial intelligence

To build an app that will benefit mental health, artificial intelligence and personalization are key. Adapting a mental health application to user needs and requirements becomes easier as your application learns more about the user.

7. Support groups can be joined

The members of a support group have similar problems and come together. They facilitate a non-judgmental space for people to discuss their mental health challenges. Individuals share their own experiences and connect with others who are experiencing the same challenges. The sharing of their stories helps them overcome their hesitation to open up about their problems. By doing so, they are encouraged to explore ways of coping with them.

8. Gamification

Gamification, such as interactive games and rewards for reaching goals, could also be used to increase patient engagement. Patients could be reminded of taking medicine at certain times, or performing some exercises, by including notifications in their communications.

Types of mental health apps

The apps can be categorized based on the issues they address, like depression, anxiety, or co-occurring disorders, and further subdivided according to their core methodologies or types of assistance, like establishing a connection to therapists, controlling stress, etc.

1. Meditation Apps

People can also practice breathing exercises and relaxation techniques using apps like Headspace or Calm. These apps have audio classes and specialized programs that guide them through meditation exercises for relaxation, improved sleep, and mindfulness. Meditation tracks are available for you to choose from.

Apps for mental well-being can make going through a difficult day more bearable, even if they do not cure psychological issues.

2. Apps with multiple purposes

Among these apps, telemedicine platforms spring to mind as the first type. Psychiatry consultations, individual counseling, couples therapy, and audio and video sessions are now available through online marketplaces, and patients can find qualified specialists and order services. To achieve this, the app needs to establish, maintain and manage a large network of mental health professionals.

There may be no one else who understands the pain, fears, and other experiences experienced by people with mental disorders. In addition to providing an anonymized group chat, group forum, and message system, mental health apps can also provide a social network where individuals can share their stories.

3. OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder) Apps

Apps for treating OCD are much smaller than apps to improve mental health. Some solutions have been developed by OCD specialists and patients to help people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, such as NOCD. There is also guidance on what to do in case of an OCD episode as part of the mindfulness and exposure-response prevention treatment plan.

4. Mental disorder apps

These apps are designed to address specific illnesses, conditions, and combinations thereof. By using proven treatment methods, such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), acceptance commitment therapy (ACT), and positive psychology techniques, these apps track patients’ mental well-being in a very detailed manner. By using an app, patients and their counselors can keep a journal, practice mindfulness and cognitive skills training, track the ups and downs of their moods over some time, and detect exacerbations.

App Development Best Practices for Mental Health

It is possible to find several mental health mobile applications on the market. Are you able to distinguish your app from the competition? There are best practices to consider when creating mental health apps for both Android and iOS users, whether they are for Android or iOS.

1. Design centered on the consumer

Design plays a crucial role in establishing trust and credibility in a mobile application.

To determine whether your application will be popular among users, you should ask the following questions:

  • Have you experienced a smooth and swift onboarding process?
  • Can users easily understand what the app can do and what it can do for them?
  • Interactions are there in the UX?

In addition to appealing to those who enjoy vibrant designs, make sure mental health apps are accessible to everyone.

2. Engage domain experts from the beginning

Mental health app developers and entrepreneurs need to be extremely careful and precise when developing mental health apps. Practicing doctors have tested and proven effective methods of treating certain disorders. Understanding and assessing these methods is essential. Rather than re-inventing the wheel or creating something impractical, it is best to recreate a method that has been approved within the app.

Apps should offer only appropriate, reliable, and current information and content based on the latest research. Content on apps must be kept fresh at all times so that unauthorized individuals cannot tamper with them. Professionals with valid licenses must provide healthcare services within the app.

In addition to ensuring your app works efficiently and avoiding civil or even criminal penalties associated with violations, you should hire medical specialists and legal experts in the target market to assist you.

3. Security

Due to the fact that people take their data seriously and do not want it compromised, security is a significant consideration.

To ensure data security, you should be HIPAA compliant. However, apart from that, you can provide your users with security and best practices education along with a transparent privacy policy.

4. Support multi-platforms

A modern user typically uses two devices throughout the day: a laptop and a smartphone. Tablets and smartwatches are also possible. You should make your app compatible with all platforms, operating systems, and screen sizes to ensure maximum comfort and efficiency.

5. Interoperability

Mental well-being apps are important when it comes to allowing mental health data to freely flow from one therapy provider to another so that better-guided meditation and other cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be conducted.

Since this should be one of the best apps for talking about mental health, it’s a good idea to make patient data easily available for secure, anonymous sharing.

6. AI-based methods

Your app can be made or broken by artificial intelligence! Mobile apps don’t allow you to train machine learning algorithms with real patients, which highlights the necessity for seamless human hand-off to ensure better digital health when using such mobile applications.

7. An emergency involving mental health

As a final note, remind patients that your mental health mobile app is not a solution for emergencies. If you plan to offer emergency contact numbers in your app, make sure to include the numbers in the app.

Final Thoughts

It is true that mental health apps can provide a convenient way to treat mental illness, but it is still vital that you seek comprehensive medical treatment for such conditions.

To keep in touch with your patients, monitor their mental state regularly, reduce workload by automating some parts of the process, and so on, we recommend integrating the app into your treatment as a complementary component.

Make sure your app is secure. Providing security and letting users know that they are safe is essential for mental health apps.

You can reach out to us if you need assistance with the development. It would be our pleasure to assist you on your journey to improve the mental health of your community!