The World Health Organization reported in Q3, 2019 that 25% of people in the world are affected by a mental health disorder. Are you looking to provide free online therapy with a mental health app to people? Do you want to invest in an evidence-based mental health app for better mental wellbeing? In this blog, we have listed down 5 tips for mental health app development that you should consider before taking the first step. These tips have been given by our expert app consultants and will be useful to you for your mobile app project.
According to a 2019 update by the World Health Organization, 1 in every 4 people is affected due to a mental health disorder. Earlier, there was a lot of hush-hush around the subject and people were afraid to touch the subject in public. However, with changing times, more and more people are seeking therapy and professional help for dealing with their problems.
But there are still some problems regarding our approach to mental health. If it had been perfect, we wouldn’t have written this blog, would we?
Mental disorders still have a veil around them which prohibits most people from talking about it or seeking help when they need it. Moreover, there are many places where mental health professionals are not present or individuals do not have access to the doctors due to some or the other reason. Many others are unable to afford fees for their treatment.
To tackle these problems, psychological therapies started reaching people through the medium of mobile apps. Yes, you read that right. Therapy through mobile apps is a rather popular segment that works towards helping people deal with various mental problems and illnesses. It gives users a sense of hope and helps them improve their mental wellbeing.
This is an important step forward in the mental healthcare sector. With everything moving forward and progressing rapidly, it becomes necessary to sometimes slow down and just breathe. However, all of us get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget to take time out and relax our minds. This is where mental health apps come into play.
If you want to invest in mental health app development but you are unsure about the same, check out these statistics about mental health to understand why an app like this is the dire need of the hour.
Statistics About Mental Health:
Here is some data about mental health disorders that will help you understand why this is the right time to invest in a mobile app for online counseling that helps people take better care of their mental health.
- The WHO stated that in developing countries, every 3 in 4 people with mental health disorders remain untreated.
- Almost 1 million people end up taking their lives every year. (WHO)
- In the United States, anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental health problems, with around 40 million people (18 years old and above in age) suffering from it. However, only 37% of them get checked and seek help because others don’t feel that it is a serious problem.
- Around 25% of countries have no mental health provision or legislation.
- There is a 2-7% prevalence of depression worldwide.
Let’s dive into useful tips that you should consider before developing mental health app.
5 Useful Tips To Consider For Mental Health App Development
Tip #1: Define a target audience
Before going to the technical part, it would be better if you take some time to understand who your audience is and what they need. This will come in handy when you are trying to determine the functionalities needed in your mental health application.
Yes, the functionalities will differ based on the type of mental disorders you are focusing on. There are several different types of mental health mobile apps based on what you are dealing with. For example, the tools integrated into an app for depression and anxiety would be different from that of an app for OCD. This is to ensure that the users get exactly what they need for maximum benefits.
Tip #2: Take suggestions from professionals for deciding categories and tools
Once you know what type of audience you are targeting, it would be easier to decide on a category of mental health app. Your choices range from tools for relaxation to chatbots and other various types of tracker apps that help people track their behavior or triggers. When deciding on a particular tool, feature or functionality, it is recommended that you take advice from professionals. There are various forms of therapy you could offer via a mental health mobile app such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, and Exposure Response Prevention Treatment. Many evidence-based mental health apps use these techniques for providing free online therapy.
When you consult a professional psychologist or psychiatrist, they are able to guide you better as to what will help the users more and what might be a possible trigger. This will make sure that your app for mental health is effective for the users and actually helps people deal with their mental problems.
Tip #3: Take care of patient privacy and confidentiality
When dealing with mental health illnesses and issues, people tend to share some of their most private thoughts and stories. Think of it from the perspective of a patient. If you go to a psychologist, you are assured that the doctor or counselor won’t be sharing anything with anyone else. However, how do you know where the data is being stored if you are talking to a chatbot mental health app? What if it becomes public?
Although mental health apps are cheaper in comparison to therapy, people are still afraid to use them because of this stigma around them. To encourage more users to join your platform and to ensure the success of your app, it is a must to have a structured patient privacy and confidentiality policy in place beforehand. This will also prevent you from being at the receiving end of any erroneous legal action.
Tip #4: Available 24/7
According to a report posted on The Washington Post, sleep disorders or staying up till late at night tends to increase the chances of suicide. If you are offering therapists on call or via chat, it could become difficult to ask the doctors to stay up all night. However, you could give other options to the users of your therapy app.
Some of the mental health apps offer various tools and relaxation exercises, while others have an inbuilt AI chatbot. In the later stages, you could also offer a hotline number for people to reach out and interact with a human for extra support. This will be helpful and can help people reach out for help whenever they need it.
Tip #5: Features
Now that you know who the mental health app is for and what type of therapeutic techniques you will be offering them, it will be easier for you to decide what type of features you can include. Features are important because they will be the deciding factor in the overall structure and format of your mobile app. They will decide how you will proceed further in your mental health mobile app development process.
If you are integrating an AI chatbot in your app, then you will need to find an app development company that also specializes in artificial intelligence. Apart from this, you could also offer tools like mood tracker, support groups, relaxation tools, journal entries, sleep tracker, trigger tracker, and other similar functionalities. You could make a combination of all these tools in one app for the general mental well-being of your users. Or you could focus on just one mental health problem and develop the mental health app according to that.
To A More Stable and Peaceful Mental Wellbeing
Now that you know what you need to keep in mind before developing the best mental health app, you must have more questions on the technical side. For example, how to find a technical partner for mental health app development, how to make a mental health app for youth, what is the mobile app development process for mental health apps, what features you can include in a CBT app for anxiety and how to make money with apps for mental health. Take a breath. At Space-O Technologies, we have expert developers and app consultants who can solve all these queries and guide you further.
We offer fully customized applications for Android and iPhone app development. We have developed over 3,500 mobile apps for our clients from all around the world from a multitude of industries. In fact, we do take care of UI/UX design, app development, quality assurance, and maintenance. To talk to our app consultants, all you need to do is fill-up the form (in under 10 seconds) that is in the footer. One of our sales representatives will get back to you within 48 hours for discussing your requirements. The consultation is absolutely free.
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Author Bio: This blog is written with the help of Jigar Mistry, who has over 13 years of experience in the web and mobile app development industry. He has guided to develop over 200 mobile apps and has special expertise in different mobile app categories like health and fitness, eCommerce, and On-Demand. So, we took his help to write these tips that you should consider during mental health app development.