I normally do my app review on a Wednesday but sometimes I have other blogs that need to be freed from my brain before they leave me alone. Anyway this App is a MUST HAVE and you will see why below but I think it is really helpful especially for those who are ‘new’ to mental illness and need some handy advice.
So the app is called Wellmind and was created for Dudley & Walsall NHS Mental Health Partnership, why it is not a national NHS app I don’t know but a big thanks to D&W for creating it and giving it away free. Usual disclaimer applies, I have this on iPhone so I do not know how well it works on other platforms.
Okay let’s get started, From the home screen you have a number of options so I will start with My Wellbeing. This section allows you to choose your mood, write something you are looking forward too, what you have achieved and what you are grateful for. Once entered you can save this to your calendar. Now this can only be done once, if you change your mood for example and save this will overwrite your previous entry. So best used as a last thing at night to help track your days.
Next I have chosen the ‘Help with stress” icon now there are also ones for Anxiety and Depression but I will just go through the stress one as an example. From the main menu you are given 4 options although one is the My Wellness which I covered above. First you have ‘Advice on stress’ this gives you some simple straightforward information on stress, what it is, how do you know and what to do etc. It also give some useful links and a link to a very informative booklet about stress. The next section is ‘body map’ this shows the parts of the body that can be effected by stress and by clicking on each one it gives more information. Finally there is a ‘5 steps to help’ section which gives good advice on how to reduce stress. So lots of helpful information and very easy to understand. This format applies to both the Anxiety and depression options as well.
The next section from the home screen is the ‘Help in a Crisis’ section This offers firstly the contact information for the Samaritans, Saneline and Mind help line, which I’m know for a fact ringing those numbers have saved me several times in the past so very handy to know. I also has some information on what a mental health crisis is and how to stay safe. I personally think that having just this information alone available to you on your phone if you are at risk is well worth it.
At the bottom there are two other brilliant features, the first is a game. Now I don’t know if Nokia still put snake on phones these days but I can assure you that for old duffers like me snake was probably the reason Nokia had such a massive market share in the early days of mobile phones. If you have never played it you simply guide the snake around the screen to eat the dots, every time you eat a dot the snake gets longer and faster. Now a slight downside is that every so often a ‘Tip’ window will open which whilst helpful advise does disturb your game (I like snake) but other than that it’s a good game to de stress.
The other cool feature is three relaxation recordings of varying length that are very good and well, relaxing. I have listened to all three and must say the quality is very good and the way they are done is very professional. I definitely think they round off a very well thought out application. Finally on the home menu there is a link to the Dudley & Walsall Mental Health NHS, where you can find out more about the trust, become a member, leave feedback and also follow them on Twitter.
So that’s the app and I honestly think it is one of the best I have seen. Clear and simple with lots of advice but not enough to overload you and probably a benefit to all mental health sufferers in some way. The only thing I would add is a Personal Details page where if you do find yourself in a situation where you need to let people know your illness, medication or Doctors details you could just show them the page. I will of course let them know I have reviewed the app and suggest it to them. Hope you like it as much as I do.