World Suicide Prevention Day: 8 apps and podcasts to help us all look after our mental health better
It’s World Suicide Prevention Day – a good time to discuss one of the toughest topics we face in modern society.
The statistics are staggering, The Samaritans say deaths by suicide rose by 11.8% in the UK last year and men are three times as likely to die by suicide than women – in the Republic of Ireland it’s four times.
It’s never been more important to talk about mental health issues and to ensure we’re all taking the time to check in with ourselves and address any struggles.
Here, we’ve gathered some helpful tools for everyday mental wellness.
1. App: Headspace
A highly successful app providing on-the-move meditation sessions, Headspace comes with a series of themed programmes focusing specifically on stress, sleep, focus, anxiety and more. You don’t need an app to meditate, but with regular reminders and guided audio walk-throughs, it sure does make it a lot easier.
2. Podcast: MHF Podcasts
With more than 70 years of experience behind them, the Mental Health Foundation know a thing or two about wellbeing – and they’ve condensed their wisdom into 16 free podcasts covering everything from breathing exercises to stress management tips and mindfulness.
3. App: Calm Harm
Designed by a clinical psychologist to help allay self-harm, Calm Harm uses six activities – comfort, distract, express yourself, release, random, and breathe – to contain self-destructive thoughts.”The urge to self-harm is like a wave,” the app says. “When you ride the wave, the urge to self-harm will fade.”
4. App: Moodtools
A jack-of-all-trades depression app which laid down a new template for mental health help when it debuted in 2014, Moodtools comes with a safety planner, a thought diary, an activities log and reams of educational information. Where appropriate, check out sister apps Fear Tools, intended to tackle anxiety and phobias, and Panic Shields, which helps users deal with panic attacks.
5. Podcast: Mentally Yours
A popular pod hosted by two Metro journalists, Mentally Yours features ultra-honest discussions with a wide variety of guests on topics ranging from postnatal depression and grief, to government mental health policies.
6. Podcast: The Hilarious World Of Depression
Different people deal with their demons in different ways, and for some, one of the best antidotes is laughter. This podcast tackles many of life’s toughest issues with a light, irreverent touch, as host John Moe chats with a slew of comedians about their experiences with clinical depression. Just entering its fourth series, THWOD is frank, heartwarming, and heartbreaking all at once.
7. App: Daylio
A free app that helps you keep tabs on your mental wellbeing, Daylio describes itself as a ‘mood tracker’ and ‘micro diary’, with ranking systems, charts, and an activity counter to paint an overarching picture of your state of mind. You can customise the names of different moods, and, hopefully, identify patterns of behaviour, be they good or bad.
8. App: Stay Alive
As its name implies, this app is specifically designed for suicide prevention, and comes recommended by leading mental health charity Mind. Appropriate for those experiencing suicidal thoughts, and those close to them, resources include a safety planner, customisable reasons for living, advice on how to handle overwhelming emotions, and direct links to crisis resources.
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