That’s the number of people worldwide living with a mental illness, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Four hundred and fifty million is just over 100 million more people than those currently living in the U.S.
And even though it’s 2020 and we have incredible mental health resources, nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental illness never seek treatment. So, consider the number who aren’t aware that they’re living with a mental illness — or are too afraid of the stigma to be diagnosed.
I was once one of those people. My denial about my mental state held me back from seeking treatment for years. I thought my job at the time was perfect — because that’s what people told me. I thought my symptoms were seizure-related — because that’s what Google told me.
I felt a need for my health-related issues to be blamed on more than “just anxiety.” It’s this thinking that landed me a week in the hospital for testing. After the wires were removed from my head, the doctor told me I was suffering from Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures (PNES).
In short, my body reacted to stress, anxiety, and depression by convincing my brain I was having partial seizures. I was literally disconnecting from life.
From that moment on, I realized how easily mental health issues can sneak up on you. Even more, I realized the effects they have on your entire body and just how important it is to acknowledge them, seek help, and take time to care for yourself.
The good news is, today it’s easier than ever to get mental health help. In honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re sharing a few of our favorite mental health apps:
Mental health awareness is about making the world happier and healthier — which Calm lives out through its mediation, sleep, and relaxation activities. Each activity is developed around improving mindfulness. According to Mindful.org, mindfulness is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through.
The unique audio content provided on Calm helps users tackle a few of the most common mental health challenges we face today, including stress, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Calm’s users lean most heavily on the 10-minute meditation called ‘The Daily Calm,’ which gives them the opportunity to dive into a new mindful theme and concept every day.
In addition to daily mindfulness activities, Calm offers nearly 100 sleep stories for adults, sleep music, meditation lessons, nature sounds, Calm Masterclasses delivered by world experts, and more.
Calm is free to download and has some free content for users. However, a paid subscription is available to subscribe to Calm Premium for all-inclusive access.
The Daily Shifts is a holistic app focused on your entire being — mind, body, and soul. It uses daily, science-based approaches and spiritual teachings to assist users in making small, yet long-lasting changes to their lives.
Every “shift” used in the app meets you exactly where you are in your own mental health awareness to increase mindfulness and empower you. So, whether you’re dealing with trauma, setting new goals, or trying to uncover your life’s purpose, The Daily Shifts will guide you through focus-building, balance, and purpose-finding exercises.
As a result, you’ll:
- Sharpen awareness and rid your body of anxiety with mindfulness and mental acuity tools
- Increase mobility and sleep with wellness tips
- Soul-search your way to discover your purpose through self-discovery prompts
Available on iOS
Frame’s co-Founders, Kendall Bird and Sage Grazer, witnessed the power of therapy firsthand. Unfortunately, Bird’s experiences moving across the country left her struggling more than once to find the best-fitting therapists.
Today, Frame is a therapy-matching app where you can streamline scheduling and payment processes as well as continue on your self-help journey with 30-45 minute digital workshops run by licensed therapists. This range of therapy proves everyone can find the support they need, no matter the level of anxiety, obstacle, mental illness, or personality type.
Frame’s process is simple but customized:
- You’ll be asked questions so that Frame’s experts know how to best help you.
- Based on your responses, you’ll receive therapist recommendations, and Frame will help you set up free intro calls to discover which is right for you.
- Schedule in-person or virtual sessions directly through Frame.
- When it’s time to pay, easily pay through Frame and allow them to keep track of your receipts for insurance purposes.
The only fees you pay are for your therapy sessions, which means Frame is completely free to use.
Available on Desktop
Mental health issues don’t wait for scheduled appointments. Stress, anxiety, depression — they can happen at any moment, and you can’t put your life on hold to wait days or weeks to meet with your therapist.
Talkspace takes the waiting out of mental health help. With the app, you can send your licensed, verified, and background-checked therapist a message in the moment from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Just like in-person sessions, everything you say is kept private and safeguarded.
Unlike other therapy apps, your message doesn’t go to the first available therapist. Once matched, you’ll work with the same therapist every time you send a message. Your therapist responds to written messages one to two times per day, but you can schedule a video chat when more help is needed.
If you think Talkspace is right for you, you’ll begin with just five easy steps:
- Chat with a ‘matching therapist’ to help identify your needs.
- Choose the plan that aligns with your needs and budget (plans start at $65/week).
- Get matched with a therapist that’s right for you.
- Begin therapy sessions.
- Message your therapist anytime from anywhere.
Happify connects scientific and evidence-based interventions in the field of positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy to create engaging activities and games. The basis of the app is to take control of your feelings and thoughts to actually change how your mind works.
Each small moment you take to participate in a game or activity helps you work toward seeing a positive change. In fact, Happify’s users have seen a noticeable reduction in stress, an increase in their ability to overcome negative thoughts, and a greater ability to build resilience to improve overall emotional well-being.