Help from the Palm of Your Hand: Mobile Mental Health Support

This article was originally posted by Robyn Mincher, DCoE Strategic Communications, on the DCoE blog.

A smartphone is no longer used as just a way to call home. A service member or veteran can access mobile applications and websites that feature resources and programs to cope with psychological health concerns, and help one self-monitor behaviors and emotions. A service member can also receive one-on-one help over the phone with service-endorsed call centers that can put them in touch with a psychological health professional to mitigate serious concerns, like suicidal thoughts.

Crisis call centers such as the Veterans Crisis Line, Military OneSource and the Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline (800-984-8523) immediately connect those in need with psychological health care professionals.

A U.S. Army paratrooper takes a picture with his cell phone while waiting to board an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Sharilyn Wells)

A U.S. Army paratrooper takes a picture with his cell phone while waiting to board an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Sharilyn Wells)

The U.S. Army Family, Morale and Recreation (MWR) program offers all of the resources available on its website with Mobile MWR for the iPhone. The application features the MWR video archive with videos highlighting suicide prevention.

The Army’s Goal Setting—Comprehensive Soldier Fitness iPhone mobile app, allows soldiers to set goals for psychological resilience in all phases of deployment, and sets up e-reminders to stay on top of them. They can also reach out to first-line supervisors by emailing their goals and progress directly to them.

The U.S. Navy Individual Augmentee (IA) connects service members, families and commands with their Navy IA application for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. The service includes videos of returning service members discussing their experiences in theater and reintegration.

To watch stories of soldiers who have experienced deployment, download the Army Strong Stories mobile application. The Army OneSource Services Locater finds programs and centers, including psychological health resource centers in your area – both apps are available on the iPhone.

Sailors can access Navy Life even while deployed with no Internet connection. This mobile app provides information about important quality of life resources, including psychological health programs.

DCoE connects mobile phone users with our 24/7 outreach center. National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2), a DCoE component center, offers the T2 Mood Tracker, which allows users to self-monitor, track and reference their emotional experience over time. The center’s PTSD Coach helps service members and veterans who are experiencing PTSD self-assess emotions and behaviors, manage symptoms and find support when needed. Other T2 apps include Breathe2Relax, to manage stress and a Mild TBI Pocket Guide, which gives health care providers a quick-reference guide to improve care for mild TBI patients.

Real Warriors Campaign, a DCoE initiative, recently launched a mobile site to connect users to website features including articles on topics such as combat stress, substance use and seeking care, and video profiles of service members and veterans who have sought help for psychological concerns. You can access it at m.realwarriors.net from your smartphone.

Have you used any of these mobile apps? We’d like to hear about your experiences below.

 

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About Carla Voorhees

Carla Voorhees has always been interested in science, from the time she grew string beans under varying conditions for the science fair (3rd grade) to the time she took every math and science class she could during high school. As her path during college and beyond took her somewhat away from the hard sciences, she is thrilled to be a part of the Armed With Science team. Carla holds a B.S. in Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2007), and an M.B.A. in Design Strategy from the California College of the Arts (2010). She works as a Web Strategist at DOD Public Web.
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