Tools For Practice Tuesday: “Stress Free” App via Thrive

I had the pleasure to be invited by Sam Glass of Thrive, based in the UK, to demo their stress management app. Mental health apps continue to interest me.  From the case management perspective, I look for two main things. First that the app can be the extension of a therapy session that can be a “homework assignment”. Secondly, the app should be able to track progress so that the user can get feedback and potentially share with their care team.

Personally I like apps that have an easy and creative interface.  The “Stress Free” App offers all of these things. It asks you to rate your mood/stress level. Based on this it makes recommendations and a menu of choices for stress management….

                                   

 

I enjoyed the menu of various coping strategies. There is also educational material about each coping strategy. It’s one thing to suggest doing deep muscle relaxation, but it’s other thing to explain “the why”. It guides you though various activities using an avatar to walk you through…

 

More importantly it has a mood and activity tracker to measure progress. I feel very strongly about the potential of mood trackers. Maybe it’s just my slight bias as a therapist. I wonder if users find these kind of trackers helpful? Would also love to know if any therapists have put progress/measurements of an App in a treatment plan? (but I digress). It produces a progress chart…

On the enjoyable interface side, the Zen Rock Garden (or the beach garden as this app is beach themed) was an added bonus.  The beach theme is a nice part of the user experience as well. Maybe this is my bias because I love the beach too. The Zen Garden offers a nice place to distract and relax you…

For those working on stress management, I found the “Stress Free” App a good tool. To learn more about Thrive and the “Stress Free App” visit them at their website: www.thrive.uk.com

Also follow them on Social Media:

Twitter: @ThriveAppsUK 

Facebook: Thrive – Therapeutic Software 

Instagram: @ThriveAppsUK

 

Tools For Practice Tuesday: Stellicare

It has been while since I have done my “Tools For Practice Tuesday” feature. Every week I was attempting to feature a potential resource for social work practice, no matter what the level.   A few weeks ago it was a pleasure to get an update from blog alum Melissa McCool.  Previously featured was her “Symptom Targeted Intervention” or (STI) program. Using principals of case management and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, STI was a training for medical social workers and other medical staff.

With Stellicare, Melissa created a digital program to integrate these training concepts with treatment options. Targeting hospitals and other medical facilities, Stellicare attempts to quickly integrate behavioral concepts, symptom education, treatment, and outcomes. Using assessment tools, diagnosis, and choice; individualized protocols are developed….

This ends up producing both a client facing and clinician facing plan with educational materials, prompts, and therapy tasks.  I am a huge fan of technology being an adjunct to treatment and this is a great example. In getting a demonstration, the potential to use these tools and prompts as “homework” is wonderful.  Technology can help build a bridge for between sessions and I see Stellicare as a great example of this.  There are also ways to track progress and outcomes. You can not only track data on an individual basis but supervisors and organizations can aggregate data to perhaps better inform practice.

Change is a process and it looks like Stellicare is a great digital tool for healthcare facilities. To find out more click on the below picture to guide you  to their website to find out more…

 

 

 

#NatCon17: More Hope and Promise

The election results in November of 2016, and the actions since President Trump took office have left little to be desired about the future of mental health and healthcare. Faced with a potential for continued issues of poor resources for mental health, and healthcare; it has been a challenging time for me. I have found solace in the company of my fellow “So-called” healthcare and mental health advocates on social media.

Social media has always been a place for me to network with fellow advocates in social work and beyond. In the last three days my love for finding out the latest in mental health innovation and connecting with others on social media converged in a wonderful space. I had the privilege of being a Twitter Ambassador for the National Council For Behavioral Health Annual Conference. I applied for this competitive stipend to attend the conference for free in exchange for live tweeting the event. Just as a side bar; if you are a conference organizer you might want to consider doing this (probably a blog post for another day).

Bit of Hope

Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin opened up the conference by attempting make sense of the Mr. Trump’s presidency by putting it in a historical context. She talked about how past Presidents have had to have resilience and also gravitas in the face of challenges.  Despite his lack of resilience and gravitas, there are other forces that can assist keeping him in check. She also talked about the importance of journalism and creating movements to resist when needed. I found this inspiring.

Princeton University Economist Uwe Reinhardt presented about the contrast between the ACA and proposed American Healthcare Act.  Using humor and his vast knowledge of the healthcare economics, he presented an unbiased view about the complexity of the American Healthcare system and the challenges of reform.  I felt like I was more armed with knowledge to work with elected offices. A recap was captured in this twitter moment…

Drawing closer to Mental Health, Dr. Tom Insel former directory of  The National Institute of Mental Health, now with Google talked about how Technology can help “Bend The Curve” with mental health treatment. He highlighted some of accomplishments of technology in mental health but where we can go next. This was also captured in this twitter moment…

 

…And Promise

Despite what may happen politically, people and companies presented inspiring ways of changing the way mental health care. Now these are just the highlights because the conference was chalk-full of this stuff.

A real inspiring moment was hearing Surgeon General Vivek Murthy speak with passion about community and social determinants of health. He described his listening tour when he began his term where issues of Opioid Dependence and Mental health were common themes. It gave me hope that The Surgeon General is a voice for these issues and that his passion is a promise be a voice in government.

 

I was excited to cover the technology track and the mix of human interaction looks incredibly promising. There are groups thinking carefully and taking action about Dr. Insel’s hope. There was a wonderful panel about focused on who they are using technology for engagement.  Using human-centered design as a foundation; IDEO, Center for Innovation, Partners For Strong Minds, and Google are developing mental health games and apps.

The design team from IDEO pointed out the critical need to include end users in design…

Also the need to go where people are. Partners for Strong Minds highlighted their use of Google Ad’s to bring people to their site…

The a brief recap of the entire presentation on apps and engagement can be found by clicking on the below image..

 

The future of mental health care was focused on how can we take the human capital we have and mix it with technology. Companies like MyStength, InnovaTel, and Seven Cups of Tea are thinking about how they can bring providers and patients closer together to improve access. Please check out the recap of this presentation on the image below…

 

There were so many fantastic presentations this year and this was just a sample. Despite what is happening in government; facts and advocacy are still on our side.  I left the conference with a sense that providers and clients are working closer together to develop new programs. That people are working tirelessly on how we can use data and technology as a source for advocacy and care. With the right combination of people and technology we can accomplish a lot. A brief example of this if the people from CrisisTech360. They have developed a census management system that you can share in real time. It also collects data that can be mined later to better inform care…

 

I look forward to continually tracking progress on how we do with this. Seeing the numerous efforts to improve mental health care gave me hope and promise that things will get better. That individuals and companies will continue to strive to make mental health care better for clients and providers. People have come to far fighting for this and we are certainly not giving up now.

If you were at #NatCon17, I would love to hear your take homes. Please feel free to comment…