Top 5 Mental Health Apps To Get You Through The Holiday Season
7Cups is an app that connects consumers to peers or licensed online mental health professionals. The app allows users to chat with people 1-on-1, or join group chats to discuss any mental health-related topic. There are communities that users can join based on various needs for support, such as addiction support and anxiety support. There are also communities for young people of color (POC), hobbies, or for positivity and gratitude. 7Cups features a “Path” system that includes goal setting and psychoeducation about varying mental health conditions.
Available for iPhone Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Android 5.0 and up
Developer: 7 Cups of Tea, Co.
Type of Treatment: Connect to a Peer, Connect to a Provider, Psychoeducation & Information, Assessment/Screening
Targeted Conditions: Mood Disorders, Schizophrenia, Stress and Anxiety, PTSD, Eating Disorders, Substance Use or Addiction
Target Audience: Adults, Adolescents, LGBTQ+, BIPOC
Designed to be used in conjunction with a professional? No
Languages Available: English
Cost: Free with in-app purchases
Get it on: Apple App Store, Google Play, Web
In one non-randomized feasibility study, 7 Cups was used as a digital platform for self-help tools and 24/7 emotional support for mothers who have been diagnosed with Post-Partum Depression (PPD) (n=19). Primary outcomes were measured with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Results showed significant decreases in EPDS scores. (Baumel et. al, 2018)
In another feasibility study, 7 Cups was used as a digital platform to complement treatment for people with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. The results found that patient attitude towards the peers on the platform were positive and that the service was helpful. Most patients expressed a positive gain due to the ability to socialize and have an outlet for their emotions. (Baumel, A., Correll, C., Birnbaum, M., 2016)
We review apps against rating criteria developed by experts in the field. Some of those criteria are:
We look at the research supporting the technology and the credibility of the development process.
We review privacy policies to see if key pieces of information about what happens with entered data are addressed.
We explore how fun, functional, easy-to-use, engaging, and interesting the technology is.
A professional in a relevant field downloads and uses the technology and writes a narrative review, highlighting pros & cons and some recommendations for use.