Digital Drop-Ins: Learning about mental health apps and creating community
Entering the field of digital mental health, I couldn’t help but feel lost. I didn’t have a direction to take my ideas, or to even begin learning about the field. “What products already exist in this space? How do I talk to developers? How do I find the right app to help my clients, or even my own mental health? Where do I even start?” These were just some of the questions that ran through my mind each day I embarked on the journey to the intersection of technology and mental health.
It was 2017, and I was one year out of graduating as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). Throughout my time as a behavior specialist to now my time as a clinician, I had always imagined integrating digital tools into mental health treatment, and I had a fountain of ideas. At the time, I was looking at building an app to help my clients track their behaviors and see how behaviors could affect their mood and mental health. These were exercises that we were already regularly doing with pen and paper but it felt fresh, exciting, and accessible in a digital format. But again, where do I even start?
I came to quickly learn that this was a common question among my peers, and among those who were curious about using digital tools for mental health. That’s where the Digital Drop-Ins come in. At One Mind PsyberGuide we see the Digital Drop-Ins as a space where people can come together to learn and share ideas and experiences; a community centered around digital mental health. We welcome people no matter what brings them to an interest in digital mental health: clinicians who are exploring integrating apps into their practice, people with lived experience who are looking for solutions to their mental health needs, researchers who are hoping to share their knowledge, and app developers who want to share their product ideas.
We focus each Drop-In on a central topic — past events have included digital tools for stress management, digital tools for the Latinx community, or using digital tools in therapy. Guest speakers have included experts in areas such as what digital tools exist for the Latinx community, or how apps can be useful for this with PTSD, or what clinical work looks like for those with eating disorders. We also highlight relevant digital tools, and although not every topic always has a clear-cut digital solution, we hope to start a conversation around how technology might help address a particular need. Finally, we hold a space for an open discussion, where attendees can ask questions or present ideas and perspectives of their own for everyone to consider.
Communities are important spaces for people to connect around shared interests. At its core, Digital Drop-Ins are spaces where people can come together as a community to learn about and connect around digital mental health. Our hope is to help foster this community, while creating opportunities to learn from those who are using these technologies. If you’re curious about mental health and technology, we’d love to have you join the conversation at a Drop-In soon.
For our schedule of events and to register for upcoming drop ins, click here. See you at a Drop-In!