Why Rize has joined the mental health app train

There are a great deal of apps out there to support mental health. We hear about more e-mental health ideas with innovative designs, functionality and feedback settings to help users in supporting a mental illness or helping people develop valuable skills to support their mental well-being.

A year ago I decided I wanted to be part of this incredible movement – to start working out how technology can fit into helping us and our mental health.

The story goes back a year further when I was diagnosed with moderate depression. It had been going on for a long time and I had no idea what was happening to me, let alone find my voice to describe it..so I sat in a loop hole, popping in and out until this time around it got worse. I’m very fortunate that my sister is a training counsellor, and she encouraged me to visit my GP. Again I was fortunate in that my GP was very patient and empathetic and helped me work out what I could do next.

I’m very much someone who likes to work on myself, away in a little mental workshop where I can pick myself apart and evaluate myself in my own way, and then work on my ‘strengths’ and ‘weaknesses’ as I see fit. This is where my first experience of E-mental health came in. My GP advised I check out Moodgym- https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome – a website which teaches you about depression/anxiety: symptoms, effects, how I can help myself, and what help there is out there for me.

The website itself was quite ‘clunky’ and full of text, which believe me if you’re depressed you do not want to have to deal with. Nonetheless I made sure I got through everything on the website, and at the end of it I actually felt…better. Not ‘cured’ by all means, but relieved that I knew more about what was going on inside myself.

I felt confident enough to start seeing a counsellor, I made a number of changes to my lifestyle, and I even felt good enough to start chasing my dreams instead of my own tail.

This is when I realised just how important moodgym had been in my steps towards recovery. Because of the type of person I am, it helped immensely that I had something, a tool I could use to ‘work on myself’. It gave me space from other people’s evaluations of what I was doing right and wrong, and provided me with such empowering information that I began to believe that what was happening to me was in fact something tangible and I could get help for from others who would know how to help me further.

I began opening up to people about my experiences, and in turn I received an overwhelming response of people with similar stories. The problem for others, just as I felt was that the content was out there but it was incredibly laborious to find and boring to engage with.

That’s when my lightbulb appeared. My dream has always been to take my own ideas and make them into a reality. With the help of moodgym, similar sites, and counselling I developed the confidence to start on this journey. I created the concept which is now the Rize app! – a gamified app that integrates therapeutic concepts into simple exercises to help users to track and improve their mental well-being.

Over the last year I have gained support from the Cambridge Accelerator Program, Mindtech, The London Institute of Psychiatry, Nottingham University, and a group of counsellors in Cambridgeshire.

My mission is to provide people like me with content that is accessible, engaging, and effective – to help support their journey in tracking and improving their mental well-being. I don’t believe digital technology can, at least in my generation, act as a cure for anything like depression, but I strongly believe that it can be a powerful supplement to engaging, recovering, and developing resilience for ourselves.

screen320x320

 

There are so many incredible, new technologies coming out now, such as moodpanda, wearewhatwedo, sparx, and many others. It’s an exciting, growing area of mental health and I’m very happy to be a part of it.

So that’s why I’m on this train! Pop your head in the iTunes store in two weeks and let me know what you think of V1 of my first try 🙂

What are your thoughts on e-mental health? Let the open discussion begin!

 

www.rizenow.com

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Why Rize has joined the mental health app train

  1. I think this is a brilliant idea! I’m glad that the mental health field is catching up with current technology. My biggest wonder is if the app will become available on another platform that is not iTunes. I am not an Apple consumer at all.

  2. Thank you for writing this blog, it’s great to see others with lived experience joining the e-health movement. I’ve been running online mental health forums and support groups since I was 13 and now work on BuddyApp which I think you may be interested in.

    One thing that struck me in your blog was the use of MoodGym- I can’t believe that is still one of the few things doctors tell people about! I was first told about MG when I went to my GP 11 years ago and it doesn’t look like it has changed much since then!

    There are so many wonderful online resources out there but how do we get GPs to find and prescribe them?

    My GP has the ability to refer people, for FREE, to Big White Wall- online therapy available 24/7 with no waiting list. However because my GP doesn’t understand it or the value they’ve not referred a single person which is a massive waste of money (as it’s been commissioned) and saddens me that so many in my area are struggling when help is available.

    • Great to hear from you Kat.

      I heard about the buddy app at the Mindtech conference last year. It sounds like you’re doing fantastic work.

      I agree, it’s an inevitable problem in working out how to we now get these effective tools, such as Big White Wall, to be used and talked about? It’d be really good to have a chat at some point on this subject.

      I truly believe in 5 years time digital tools will be integrated much faster, but as if often the case within medical practises these changes are slow..we’ll get there! 🙂

      • Oh fantastic! Are you going to the MindTech event in November in London? I’m giving a talk about Buddy and will have a stall too- it would be really nice to have a proper chat 🙂

        I definitely agree with you- progress is slow but we will get there. I hope to one day live in a society where digital is just seen as business as usual and not some threatening new fangled contraption!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s