Last month I was invited to the launch of a great new app… Mental Snapp.
This new app has been designed by a Stelios Award winner so you know it’s going to be good. Hannah Chamberlain, co founder of the app and originator of the idea draws on her own experiences to create an app that behaves like a ‘therapist in your pocket’.
The app works as a video diary where users can create private videos in order to help manage their own mental health. The videos, with the users permission, can also be used to share with therapists, teachers and other health care workers to enable better help and care to be provided.
Hannah said; “I came up with the idea for Mental Snapp having told my own mental health story on film and helped other people tell theirs. I’ve been managing my own condition and making films on mental health for twenty years, and seen how telling your own story on film really makes a difference to people. Mental Snapp is a way to make the therapeutic benefits of journalling, rating mood and naming feelings accessible - the camera on your phone can be the therapist in your pocket.”
I love this as when I was unwell and beginning my recovery I used to film myself. I never ended up showing anyone these recordings, but they helped me somehow. One of the issues with depression and anxiety in my experience is that when you are out and about with people in your “good” phase or upbeat, happy moods you can pull off being totally together and feeling awesome, you get home and you’re so exhausted from putting on this front that you can flop for days. Often when I was at my worst no one would be there to see it so I would worry people wouldn’t believe or know and understand the extent of my illness as I kept it hidden so well. If there was an app like Mental Snapp it could have really helped me monitor my mood and also show others, should I have wished to share my low points.
The Office for Disability Issues, DWP, are huge supporters of the app they have said; “We welcome Mental Snapp as an innovative idea to help people manage their mental health. People living with mental health and other long term health conditions have barriers to overcome in living independently. The Government has set out a commitment to see one million more disabled people in work by 2027 and technology has an important part to play in helping us achieve this goal. Mental Snapp is an exciting example of how technology can help promote methods of recovery that help people to live fulfilling lives.”
During the launch I met some amazing people and some of the users of the app discussed its benefits and how it has been helping them monitor their moods. One user was Michael Brown who has Bipolar disorder, Michael is an author and mental health activist. He loves the app saying “It is important to record my mood and Mental Snapp is a superb way of recording, monitoring and looking after my mental health all in one app. Mental Snapp helps me better understand, manage and look after my mental health and wellbeing.”
I have not used the app personally, but would recommend giving it a go if you feel it would help as I wish I had, had something similar when I was in recovery. It’s a simple concept which I feel will help empower users, putting more control over their own mental health in their hands. One thing Michael shared in his talk on the launch evening was how he records supporting messages for himself to play when he is in a low point. He records things he knows will help when he is well, so when he is feeling low he can watch himself pep talk himself back to a better space. I loved this idea! A bit like a mental health version of Back to the Future!
It’s such a simple concept you simply tell your story, rate your mood, name your feelings and the subject area you are recording on, e.g. stress or sleep. The app comes up with intelligent responses and prompts for what to record on next based on the tags you attach to your recordings. Users say they feel kinder to themselves as a result of recording with Mental Snapp, so in my eyes this can only be a positive thing.
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or download the app for yourself from the apple or play stores. Mental Snapp is free to download and can be used with limited storage for free. To unlock unlimited storage and extra features, users can subscribe for £4.49 p/m.