Points that need to Keep in Mind While Developing Mental Health App
There is a lot of stigma surrounding mental health. So, this subject needs a sensitive approach. The number of people suffering from mental illnesses is on a rise. Taking that into consideration, mental illness apps are also being created.
As per various studies, people are now open to using a mental health application to manage their issues. There is no doubt that the acceptance of such applications is increasing.
But as an app owner, there are certain things you need to keep in mind. For the technical aspects of mental health app development, you can trust a mobile app development company.
Before you partner with one, here are a few things you should know.
Target Audience for a Mental Health App
The first question for any mental health app development project is ‘who will use the app’. The answer to this question will help you make important decisions for the project.
The range of mental disorders is wide. You need to decide whether the target audience is youngsters, the older generation, the LGBTQ community, or anyone else.
It is also necessary to know the location of your audience.
Now, don’t forget that mental health therapy apps are also for people who don’t have any such issues. Many people use such apps to improve their daily lives. So, you need to choose from a huge range of audiences.
Types of Apps for Mental Health
The next step in mental health app development is to decide the focus of the app. Such apps are designed to cater to certain types of mental illnesses.
So, this decision will also affect all the further steps. Different types of apps are as follows:
# Mental Disorder Apps
You can find some of the best depression apps on the market. All of them have a different aim. For instance, some are for consulting a doctor while others offer tips and training programs.
There are also apps that take the topic seriously and have a suicide safety plan too. They have other disorders like Schizophrenia too. There are apps to cater to these patients too.
According to the experts, a mental health tracker app for people with psychological disorders should have a doctor on-board. The same is not necessary for apps for mentally healthy people.
If the doctors offer support round the clock, then the users will get maximum benefit. Moreover, such apps also encourage people to connect and build communities. Thus, users will be able to share their feelings with someone who understands.
# Mental Self-improvement Apps
You can develop mental health applications for mentally healthy people too. Here, the aim of the mental health app development project will be to help users manage their mood swings, and change their bad habits.
For such apps, meditation is the core. Calm is one of the best mental health apps. It uses various meditation techniques.
Apps for mentally healthy people can be further divided into two categories – General mental health apps and apps for addiction recovery.
- General Mental Health Apps
The general mental health apps are to create self-awareness among users. These apps will help to control the mood, develop positive thinking, and break bad habits. What’s Up? and 7 Cups of Tea are the best examples of general mental health apps.
- Apps for Addiction Recovery
The primary purpose of these applications is to help the users free from their habits like smoking, drinking, or taking drugs.
Moreover, apps for addiction recovery will also let the users know the time since they started fighting the habit. Twenty four hours a day is an app that gives 12 steps to give up a bad habit.
# Stress & Anxiety Apps
These apps can also be called behavioral health apps. People who struggle with stress and anxiety can take help. Stress and anxiety apps come with 24-hour anxiety toolkits and diaries.
The users can record every thought that makes them restless. The diary will enable users to record how they felt throughout the day. Then the app will analyze this data and prepare a progress report.
The best mood tracker apps will show charts that focus on the times and places where the emotional well being of users was affected.
Features that will make the App more Effective
There are innumerable features you can offer in your mental health app. You also need to make sure that all the features in your app don’t seem repetitive.
So, while you are starting with mental health app development, draw a plan. The plan should contain the features and the problem that the feature will solve.
If you are not too sure of doing this yourself, then hire a dedicated iPhone app developer/Android developer. The developers will suggest you some features after doing research on some of the top apps available.
# Must-have features for users
Not every user will want to consult a doctor. Some of them are here for self-monitoring. This is especially true in the case of mentally healthy people.
Many times they use mental health apps to understand their mood patterns and manage their stress. On the other hand, people with serious symptoms will use the apps to know their symptoms and track progress.
- Notifications & Reminders
Most notifications in any app are tailor-made. Mental health apps are no different. Notifications will not only offer suggestions but also push users to monitor themselves.
App reminders will recommend users to do activities that are good for their psychological well-being. Today, people have a hectic life. So, users will always appreciate getting notifications and reminders for doing mental health exercises.
Keep in mind that too many notifications can also annoy them. Hence, decide the right number of notifications.
When it comes to mental health, people may feel more comfortable sharing it with their friends and family. A social media sharing feature will allow users to get help from friends, family, and caregivers.
They can share their current mood on social media or send emails to their preferred contact.
- Support Groups
Apart from friends and family, support groups are another popular choice. People suffering from mental disorders feel comfortable sharing their struggles in a safe environment. A support group offers exactly that.
A mental health professional will be the head of such a group. Some of the best mental health apps on Android/iOS have a platform where people can come together and discuss their struggles.
# Must-have features for Therapists
- Matching Clients with Therapists
Not everyone who uses your app will have the same problems. It is crucial to match a client with the right therapist. The algorithm of your app will suggest a list of suitable therapists.
You can also have a therapist that greets users at the beginning of a session. Then on the basis of answers to a few questions, the therapist can recommend an expert in the field. This will also make the conversation more humane.
The dashboard for therapists is similar to any other dashboard. It is the section of the app where a therapist can manage all the cases and keep a track of the patient’s progress.
The therapists will receive this information from the patient’s smartphones where they keep journals. The data is shown on the therapist’s dashboard in the form of reports. Therapists can quickly go through the reports before starting a session with the patient.
- Multiple forms of messaging
The general form of communication of mental health apps is through text messages. However, that is not the only option. You can also allow voice or video messages.
Also, live video and audio sessions will be a welcome move. A patient can then choose the communication means he/she is most comfortable with.
Last But Not Least, Confidentiality of Mental Health Apps
It is crucial that the data of users is kept confidential. When users will trust your app, only then they will continue using it. They can probably recommend it to others too.
This holds true for any app and not just mental health apps. As an app owner, you have to comply with regulatory laws in your country to ensure complete security of the data.
Make sure that when you do follow all the privacy laws, you highlight that about your app. It will allow users to trust your app right from the start.
A mental health app development project is not easy. Every little thing needs to be taken care of. You will need to think from every perspective to make sure there is no room for error.
Now, you may not be an expert in app development so reach out to the professionals. A custom Android app development company will guide you through every stage.
Starting from designing the app to its effective marketing – you can rely on them. If you are not too keen on having too many advanced features, then you can always start with the basic features.
Are you a mental health professional who wants to create an app to help people? Do you not know about the app monetization options? Well, leave your doubts to the experts! Consult our in-house team on [email protected]!