Tips on living a healthy and full life

Mental health apps for caregivers: how to choose

Caregivers’ mental health is a concern for health care professionals and caregiver advocates. Stress, depression, anxiety, and caregiver burnout are the biggest mental health issues. With the COVID-19 pandemic, caregivers have the added stress of physical distancing from those they are caring for, worrying about the health of aging parents and other older relatives, and added responsibilities with the suspension of respite care and adult day program or early hospital discharge. The development of mental health apps is a welcome addition to provide support and interventions for caregivers.

The upside of mental health apps for caregivers

There is much that is good about mental health apps. They can be effective in managing stress and common conditions like anxiety or depression. Also, they are excellent ways to move through some barriers to getting help with mental health, like cost, geography and the stigma that is still attached to mental health struggles.

One of the reasons why caregivers have been reluctant to adopt technology is the cost and the time it can take to sort out the good technology from the bad so to speak. There is some encouraging news for caregivers on 2 fronts when it comes to mental health support:

  1. With the pandemic, provincial governments and the federal government have made some virtual mental health services, including certain apps, FREE for all Canadians. Increasingly, employers and insurance providers are also offering mental health apps for their employees and clients.
  2. There has been movement on the evaluation front. Now you can draw on the experts’ evaluation of these apps. You can let them figure out which ones are worth your time and energy.

Mental health apps are plentiful but more isn’t always better

There are over 10,000 apps which focus on mental health that are currently available. How on earth are you going to pick the one that is going to serve you the best? The big problem to date is that they are not regulated, so in some ways, it is the wild west of apps. The 2 big (and they are big) issues to be aware of are:

Top tips to guide your app selection

The virtual world has gotten much larger for many people as an adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic. It may continue to play a significant role in our health and well-being post-pandemic

We would love to hear about your virtual experiences.

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