Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine

NEW HORIZON
Year
: 2017  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 707--711

Unguided mental health self-help apps: Reflections on challenges through a clinician's lens


Seema Mehrotra1, Satish Kumar1, Paulomi Sudhir1, Girish N Rao2, Jagadisha Thirthalli3, Aditi Gandotra1 
1 Department of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Epidemiology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Seema Mehrotra
Department of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
India

The past one decade has witnessed a boom in the availability of Internet-based self-help apps in the field of mental health. Several apps have emerged that aim to provide information and strategies to empower individuals with self-help approaches to deal with issues and concerns related to mental health. A large number of these apps in developing countries are likely to be those which depend entirely on the users to go over the self-help program on their own (unguided internet-based self-help). Only a few apps add a component of periodic professional contact/technical support through phone/email or other means to supplement the self-help strategies suggested in the app that the user is expected to utilize. This scenario poses several challenges in use of unguided self-help apps for mental health. This paper enumerates some of these challenges for potential users of the apps from the perspective of clinicians. These range from difficulties in choosing the right app, limited scope for contextualization, and motivation management to awareness about when to step up to a higher intensity intervention. Despite these challenges, unguided self-help apps can serve important purposes, and hence we propose a few recommendations to address such challenges.


How to cite this article:
Mehrotra S, Kumar S, Sudhir P, Rao GN, Thirthalli J, Gandotra A. Unguided mental health self-help apps: Reflections on challenges through a clinician's lens.Indian J Psychol Med 2017;39:707-711


How to cite this URL:
Mehrotra S, Kumar S, Sudhir P, Rao GN, Thirthalli J, Gandotra A. Unguided mental health self-help apps: Reflections on challenges through a clinician's lens. Indian J Psychol Med [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 7 ];39:707-711
Available from: http://www.ijpm.info/article.asp?issn=0253-7176;year=2017;volume=39;issue=5;spage=707;epage=711;aulast=Mehrotra;type=0