Wednesday, August 07, 2013

An App For Your Mental Health Coming To A Phone Near You!

This appeared a little while ago.

Developers creating apps to treat mental health issues

By Sanjena Sathian

Globe Correspondent  
 July 08, 2013
“Treasure of Bell Island,” from Blue Marble Gaming Co., is a video game designed to help people who have had a traumatic brain injury.
Late at night, in the middle of a panic attack, 25-year-old Zoe Quinn used to get out of bed to play video games. By the light of her computer screen, she immersed herself in another universe, and her anxiety slipped away.
Now, the Dorchester woman wants to make gaming for others what it was for her: a therapeutic, purposeful way out of dark times. Her passion makes her part of a growing movement among gamers and doctors alike to use the medium to educate the public and diagnose, and even treat depression or anxiety.
Quinn has created a simple, free, Web game called “DepressionQuest.” Players click through the deeply realistic narrative of a first-person character, making choices for the character about work, friends, and family. The game shows options for dealing with depression, such as seeking therapy or medication, or reaching out to friends.
“DepressionQuest” isn’t clinically tested. (Though she got advice from a therapist, she warns that suicidal people should not play.) But Quinn wanted sufferers of depression to know they’re not alone — and show those who haven’t experienced depression what it’s like. “Games require a certain degree of empathy — from the nature of the interaction, immersing yourself in the experience,” she said. “The world of games is changing. It’s not just Mario or Call of Duty.”
Game developers hope that one day they might supplement therapy and support groups by putting mental health care into patients’ homes or pockets. The demand for therapists far outstrips the supply nationally, and many who most need help with mental health issues can’t afford or reach treatment, or don’t seek it out.
‘Games require a certain degree of empathy — from the nature of the interaction, immersing yourself in the experience.’
But most of the games have yet to go through rigorous testing to see whether they work — or might inadvertently harm patients — and the makers aren’t yet allowed to make health claims for their products. While drugs must be approved by the federal government and states license many therapists, games are unregulated.
More here:
Also we have this link:
First on the web and now on your phone. I hope there will be some review processes put in place to evaluate and certify such apps so they can be used and recommended with confidence as it seems they are likely to really be able to help many.

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