When it comes to technology and mental health, smartphone addiction and mobile applications like social media, are associated with negative mental health outcomes. Many researchers, however, see the potential for mobile applications to improve mental health outcomes and alleviate barriers to treatment. Mental health apps, or MHapps, are applications that can be downloaded onto mobile devices to address a multitude of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. This 500 million dollar industry is growing in popularity but not without its issues. While the Food and Drug Administration regulates a few apps that provide treatment and diagnosis, many MHapps aren’t regulated and don’t have guidelines for their development which can make users wary of their safety and effectiveness. There is, however, clinical research that shows that these apps are a useful tool to supplement in-person therapy, provide education, and teach healthy coping skills. There are currently an estimated 10,000 different MHapps available for download in various marketplaces. So how do you find a credible mental health app that works for you?
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