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...

USU Task Force addresses nutrition and lifestyle’s role in resiliency

Article
9/24/2020
Woman cutting a steak on a plate, with corn

A personal protective lifestyle (PPL) and nutrition (PPN) could be your key to resiliency in the face of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Nutrition | Coronavirus

PSNS Hospitalman consistently steps up to meet the mission

Article
9/23/2020
Man wearing a mask in an office environment

The ‘Rad Health’ program is cited as the ‘gold standard’ by Naval Sea Systems Command and BUMED audits.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Fort Campbell soldiers shine light on suicide prevention

Article
9/22/2020
Woman wearing a mask, hugging her daughter

Annual walk hosted by BACH offers hope

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit

Georgia soldiers donate CCP in the fight against COVID-19

Article
9/22/2020
Man wearing mask, giving blood

[C]onvalescent plasma transferred to a patient still suffering from the disease could help speed the recovery process.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

Air Force master ordering facility streamlines medical supply process

Article
9/21/2020
Military member in warehouse, packing a large box

To date, the Air Force master ordering facility in Port San Antonio has supported 26 Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces embedded in 24 civilian hospitals.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Trump Administration Releases COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Strategy

Article
9/17/2020
Soldier getting flu shot

Detailed planning is ongoing to ensure rapid distribution as soon as the FDA authorizes or approves a COVID-19 vaccine and CDC makes recommendations for who should receive initial doses.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Provider Resilience Self Care Guide

Publication
9/17/2020

Tips and recommendations for health care providers on self-care to promote resilience and reduce stress.

Recommended Content:

Connected Health

MHS immunization experts will answer questions about flu vaccine

Article
9/16/2020
Soldier giving another soldier a flu shot

Real-time Facebook event set for 3-4 p.m. EDT Sept. 17

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Preventive Health | Public Health | Coronavirus

Former BAMC COVID-19 patient now CCP donor

Article
9/16/2020
Man donating blood

When someone contracts a virus, that person’s immune system creates antibodies to fight the virus.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

New communications tool rolled out on MHS GENESIS

Article
9/15/2020
Three men, wearing masks, looking at a computer screen.

Through e-Visits, providers address questions, concerns virtually.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS

Suicide impacts us all – but there is help!

Article
9/14/2020
Man at sporting event kissing his wife and baby

September marks Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | Coronavirus | September Toolkit

Wildfire smoke wreaks havoc on respiratory and immune systems

Article
9/11/2020
Picture of a military tent; an orange, smoky hue surrounds the tent and soldiers

State and country health advisory alerts on diminished air quality have been posted and shared to alert local populations.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus

From Ghana to Washington, Sailor provides leadership during COVID-19

Article
9/10/2020
Female soldier with mask

Acquiring supplies, in general, has been a hurdle worldwide.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness

Thirteen years ago Ft. Knox prepared for outbreak scenarios

Article
9/10/2020
Front page of newspaper

Some of the preventive measures that surfaced from the 2007 exercise included the wearing of facial coverings, regular sanitizing of surfaces and social distancing by such means as teleworking.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

PREVENTS aimed at reducing Service Member and Veteran suicide

Article
9/9/2020
Group of airmen hugging each other

In our nation, suicide has increased by 33% over the last 25 years across all demographics.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | Mental Health Care | Warrior Care | September Toolkit | Total Force Fitness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 46

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.