Back to Top Skip to main content

Using mobile mental health apps to cope during social isolation

Soldier holding cell phone, showing app to another person Mobile mental health tools, including apps, can provide support to people experiencing anxiety while sheltering at home. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. (Photo by DHA Connected Health)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Mental Health Care | Depression | Connected Health | Total Force Fitness

Living through a global pandemic while adapting to new circumstances, like social distancing, can cause distress in anyone.

“We all need social connection, and being separated can make people feel more isolated and lead to depressive symptoms like low mood, poor concentration, lack of or too much sleep,” said Kelly Blasko, a clinical psychologist at the Defense Health Agency. “It is easy to feel overwhelmed, and that can lead to other mental health concerns such as anxiety and worry.”

Addressing mental health issues early can prevent potential problems down the line.

“We need to look at medical readiness holistically with mental health as just one aspect of overall health,” said Blasko. “Just like preventive measures are used to reduce the chances of a physical injury, there are preventive measures to reduce the chances of poor mental health.”

Mobile mental health tools, including apps, can provide valuable resources and support to people experiencing anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis.

“These health technologies can help during the in-between times of seeing your provider and can continue to improve the symptoms [of anxiety or depression],” explained Blasko, who is the lead for mobile health clinical integration at the DHA’s Connected Health branch.

Connected Health has developed mobile health tools and published several articles and research on the benefits of using digital health in clinical care, including guidelines on integrating mobile mental health tools into clinical practice.

The DHA’s mobile apps, listed here, are free and available for anyone to download from app stores for Android and Apple devices. There are apps that enhance self-care, and others that are a companion to treatment with a health care provider.

“Many self-care apps can be used without ongoing treatment. For example, Breathe2Relax teaches diaphragmatic breathing that is a skill we all can use to reduce stress.” said Blasko. “The Military Health System is expanding its virtual health services during this time and beneficiaries should check directly with their providers to see what options are available for them,” she added.

Blasko cautioned that mental health apps should never replace help from a health care provider.

“It is always good to seek help from a professional if you are worried about your mental health,” she said, noting the Military Crisis Line is available for urgent mental health issues. “These tools can be a way to develop daily coping skills and self-care habits. It is important to know how a mobile app is going to be helpful before relying on it for self-care.”

You also may be interested in...

New Navy units join in the fight against COVID-19

Article
8/7/2020
Military nurse putting on PPE

This deployment marked the first use of the newly established Acute Care Team and Rapid Rural Response Team medical platforms.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Air Force updates medical courses with COVID-19 content, procedures

Article
8/7/2020
Two lab technicians wearing full PPE handling vials for testing

COVID-19 has pushed instructors and trainers to be more innovative.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness | Combat Support

BAMC nurses: “It’s us against COVID”

Article
8/6/2020
Group of nurses at a hospital

With safety on the line, mistakes aren’t an option when it comes to PPE.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Madigan collects CCP in fight against COVID-19

Article
8/6/2020
Four people in a hospital room wearing masks

Convalescent plasma has been used for nearly a century to transfer antibodies from a recovered person to help protect another from an infection.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

DHA to recognize COVID-19 front-line innovators and leaders

Article
8/5/2020
Hospital Corpsman administers a COVID-19 test to service member aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex.

Who are the COVID-19 change makers?

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Patient Safety | Patient Safety Champion Recognition Program

Indiana National Guard continues to train in the COVID-19 environment

Article
8/5/2020
Soldiers in the field, wearing masks and testing equipment

Training in a time of COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness

MHS asks COVID-19 recovered to donate plasma for seriously ill

Article
8/4/2020
Woman wearing mask and PPE holding a bag of plasma

Plasma donations needed in the fight against COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

MTFs plan and prepare to face any emergency or disaster

Article
8/4/2020
Hospital personnel surrounding a patient

Military hospitals make emergency plans and conduct practice drills long before a natural disaster strikes.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Emergency Preparedness and Response

Air Force mental health team provides for deployed troops

Article
8/4/2020
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nathan Davis, conducts a weekly Disaster Mental Health battlefield circulation walk around Quarantine Town.

The Disaster Mental Health team helps combat the stressors of the novel coronavirus and improves the overall well-being of service members of Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness | Coronavirus

DoD leadership updates Pentagon on COVID-19 testing capabilities

Article
8/3/2020
Image of Air Force Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Lee Payne speaking, with Pentagon sign behind him

How COVID-19 testing helps prevent spread of the virus

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Army Medicine leaders visit BACH’s COVID-19 frontlines

Article
8/3/2020
Soldier in mask speaking to other soldiers

The commander shared both successes and challenges in the face of a global pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Air Force medical technician drawn to caring for others

Article
7/31/2020
Woman in white chemical suit

"As a medic, my job is to test people for the virus to help make sure they’re safe."

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

In this Together: Military Couple Recovers from COVID-19, Donates Convalescent Plasma

Article
7/30/2020
Couple wearing masks, holding bags of plasma

There is information that suggests CCP might help some patients recover from the disease.

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

Military Health System experts discuss COVID-19 innovations

Article
7/30/2020
Four men wearing masks, holding COVID-19 Airway Management Isolation Chamber

How quick thinking and new approaches are saving lives in the pandemic fight.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | July Toolkit

DoD COVID-19 Practice Management Guide Version 5

Technical Document
7/30/2020

This Practice Management Guide does not supersede DoD Policy. It is based upon the best information available at the time of publication. It is designed to provide information and assist decision making. It is not intended to define a standard of care and should not be construed as one. Neither should it be interpreted as prescribing an exclusive course of management. It was developed by experts in this field. Variations in practice will inevitably and appropriately occur when clinicians take into account the needs of individual patients, available resources, and limitations unique to an institution or type of practice. Every healthcare professional making use of this guideline is responsible for evaluating the appropriateness of applying it in the setting of any particular clinical situation. The Practice Management Guide is not intended to represent TRICARE policy. Further, inclusion of recommendations for specific testing and/or therapeutic interventions within this guide does not guarantee coverage of civilian sector care. Additional information on current TRICARE benefits may be found at www.tricare.mil or by contacting your regional TRICARE Managed Care Support Contractor.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 43

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.