Looking for tools to help yourself or someone you care about? Assistance is quite literally at your fingertips, with these great apps. Try one out today or suggest one to a friend. And let us know what you think. We are always keen to hear from you about what helps you and the people in your life.
Developed by: Reach Out and The Centre for Clinical Interventions
Helpful for: People suffering from anxiety and stress.
Available for iPhone and Android
The idea behind Worry Time is that if you deliberately set aside time to think about the things that are constantly worrying you, then you can be present in the moment and get on with the rest of your life, the rest of the time. It encourages you to name your worries as they surface, knowing that you can go back to them at worry time so that they don't niggle at the back of your mind creating stress and anxiety.
Choose a time in the day that works best for you, and WorryTime will send you an alert when it's time to think about what's been stressing you out. You can update your schedule when it changes, and you can choose the amount of time you want to spend thinking about your worries.
When the worry has been dealt with or is no longer bothering you, you can scrunch up the virtual paper note on which your worry was inscribed, and throw it away.
The beauty of this app is in its simplicity. It's design and instructions encourage breaking worries down to simple dot points, making them loom less large in the mind.
The New Roots Project has been developed to build the health and wellbeing of men, aged 18-45, from Arabic, Farsi and Tamil-speaking backgrounds, who have recently arrived in Australia. It aims to help them overcome the daily challenges as they start a new life.
The app is free and available in Arabic, English, Farsi and Tamil. It is one component of the New Roots Project which has been developed by Settlement Services International (SSI) in partnership with beyondblue. The project also covers online training for caseworkers in settlement services and training for community leaders.
The New Roots app includes information, tips and tools that help with starting a new life and staying positive in a new country. It has been developed to promote the health and wellbeing of users and to assist them in accessing services and participating in community life. Following a 12-month pilot phase in NSW, it is hoped the app will be made available in more languages and other project components will be promoted Australia-wide.
Be My Eyes makes life easier for people with a visual impairment by connecting them with sighted helpers through a video link. The app allows people with a visual impairment to handle big and small tasks, like safely navigating road signs or checking the expiry date on a carton of milk.
To request help, the user opens the app and touches a button to ask for a volunteer. Volunteers receive a notification, which they can choose to either accept or ignore. If a helper fails to respond, the app notifies more people until someone answers.
Be My Eyes is a simple concept which harnesses the power of virtual communities made possible by smart phone technology. It has has proven very popular particularly among volunteers, with sighted helpers outnumbering vision impaired users 10 to 1. Originally developed in Denmark, Be My Eyes is available in growing number of community languages.
Rise Up + Recover supports people managing an eating disorder. It allows users to monitor moods and meals and provides tools and techniques to cope during the inevitable tough times. Users can check-in with emotions, actions, substance and medication use, and the app provides affirmations and reminders to support recovery.
Rise Up + Recover was created by Jessica Raymond who struggled for years with an eating disorder. She has combined her experience with proven treatment methods to create not only the app, but an accompanying online magazine, podcast, and music playlist, all aimed at promoting recovery.
Developed for: Anxiety Disorders Association of British Columbia
Helpful for: Teens and young adults struggling with anxiety
Available for: iPhone and iPad and Android
Mindshift acts as a portable coach teaching all about anxiety, its causes and effects. It encourages users to recognise their own triggers, to name them and to use suggested strategies for coping. By identifying the errors in thinking that often lead to anxiety, the app encourages a shift in the way users think about situations which cause anxiety, such as social interaction, exam pressure, worry and conflict.
The app's many features include guided relaxation, visualisation, mindfulness exercises and inspirational quotes. Great as a stand alone tool, Mindshift could also serve as a useful complement to professional treatment.
Domestic and family violence affects one in three Australian women, and sexual assault affects one in five women over the age of 15. Daisy has been created to support these women. Daisy connects users to legal services, housing and finance services and children’s services in their state or local area. In an emergency, users can quickly contact police or alert nominated contacts.
Family members and friends can use the Daisy app to gather information and support women in their decision making. And further information and telephone counselling are available at 1800 RESPECT.
DEVELOPERS WARNING : Before downloading this App or sharing it with anyone, consider safety. If a device is not private, it may not be safe to download or share.
Mind the Bump is a mindfulness meditation tool designed especially for new and expecting parents. Developers of the app have recognised that while the birth of a new baby can bring much excitement, it can also complicate life, resulting in stress and anxiety. Mind the Bump can be used by individuals or couples. It provides tailored exercises to mentally and emotionally support users from the beginning of pregnancy through to 24 months after birth.
Mind the Bump was developed by Smiling Mind and Beyond Blue with the assistance of psychiatrists and psychologists who specialise in Mindfulness Meditation, mental health, perinatal health and online wellbeing. Activities in the App are designed to train the brain and build an ability to be mindful. Mindfulness practice has been shown to help in the management of stress and change, common features of life as a new parent.
The meditations in Mind the Bump are numerous and are tailored to various stages of pregnancy and parenting. Each meditation is designed to build mental and emotional resilience. Topics range from acceptance, patience and loving kindness to managing change and connecting with your baby.
Out and About
Developed by: Villa Maria Society
Helpful for: People with a disability or limited mobility living in Melbourne
Available for: iPhone and iPad and Android
The Out & About app is designed to assist people with a disability or limited mobility and their families and carers, to better access their community through information about accessible venues and events across metropolitan Melbourne.
Out and About takes advantage of location services, directing users to nearby parks and playgrounds, restaurants and galleries, and more. Information can be filtered according to a user's particular needs.
The first of its kind in Australia, here's hoping that such an app will soon be available to users throughout Australia.
If you have suggestions for other apps to add to the list we'd love to hear from you. Contact us today.