Psychologists at the University of Reading have launched a free iPhone app to help people with depression get direct access to help without needing to go to their GP.
Developed as part of a PhD research project, the app, called Mood Mate, was launched on October 10, World Mental Health Day. The free app helps people monitor their own mood and will help detect signs that they are becoming depressed or anxious. If the app finds a person could benefit from help, it will point them towards local treatment services, often ones that they can access without first going to their doctor.
On a PhD programme funded by the Medical Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council, the Mood Mate app collects data anonymously to analyse whether monitoring mood over time helps people seek treatment, contributing to crucial research which could help
health authorities provide better treatments in the future.
The app is the brainchild of Alex Gyani, a researcher in the Department of Psychology at the University of Reading, who says, “We hope it will enable us to find new ways to help people suffering from mental health problems in the UK get the psychological treatments that have been
shown to work.”
More people than ever are suffering from stress, anxiety and depression. National surveys have found that 1 in 6 people could be suffering from a common mental health disorder at any given time. But many people are not accessing treatment that has been shown, in clinical trials, to be effective.
Mood Mate is available to be downloaded free from iTunes.
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