While there are some apps out there that aim to boost mental health and well-being, there are many things that set MoodMission apart.
Please don't forget to pledge to our crowdfunding campaign. If we don't reach our target, we won't get to put these 14 reasons into action.
1. Targets both anxiety and low mood
Many apps aim to help people with anxiety. Others aim to help people with depression. Few can help with both.
Anxiety and depression are intimately related. In one study 85% of people diagnosed with depression problems also suffered significant anxiety, and 90% of people diagnosed with anxiety disorders suffered significant depression.
MoodMission targets the underlying problems shared by low moods and anxiousness.
2. You don’t need a mental health diagnosis to use it
Let’s say that one day you feel a bit anxious. You want to take care of yourself and you want to do something about it. So you go to the app store and pick out an app that promises to help anxiety. You start using the app, which then basically announces that you have Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Or maybe you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The app isn’t sure about which specific mental illness you have, but it’s suggesting very strongly that you have some sort of psychopathology.
If you weren’t already feeling anxious, you are now!
Most psychological problems don’t need a specific diagnosis slapped on them for people to find help. MoodMission treats you as a person who is in a low or anxious mood, not as a diagnosis.
3. Based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is the psychological therapy with the most scientific evidence backing it up as the best option for lowering anxiety and reducing depressive moods. It also has the most evidence supporting it as an effective computerised therapy. MoodMission is built on this evidence-based foundation to give it the best chance of success.
4. Self-reporting of mood
A big part of CBT is helping people to objectively, unbiasedly record their thoughts, feelings, or behaviours. When you record things in this way, like how distressed you are on a scale from 1 to 10, it helps you develop a sense of perspective. This can have many mental health benefits, and helps MoodMission get a precise gauge of how things are for you.
5. Recommends activities to improve mood
Yeah, I feel low or anxious, but what do I actually do about it?
Not knowing this can be so frustrating. And not doing anything about your problems can instil a sense of hopelessness.
But actually doing something can both help the problem and help you feel good about yourself by boosting self-esteem.
That’s why MoodMission is built around activities – missions – that you actually do.
6. Tailors itself to you
Everyone is different. Different mental health strategies work different ways for different people. That’s why a good doctor or psychologist will ask a number of questions before suggesting any treatments – they want to tailor their help to your unique circumstances.
MoodMission adapts itself to you in a similar way. It learns from your past use of the app what sorts of things work for you and what sort of things aren’t as helpful, and then serves up more stuff that works.
7. Activities that you can do right now
We often don’t anticipate feeling anxious or low. And we carry our phones with us basically anywhere we go. So what if you could have something on your phone to use to boost your mood or calm your anxiety, no matter where you are or what you’re doing?
MoodMission’s missions are designed so that you can use them right there and then. Some apps encourage you to do regular sessions or daily meditations, which are all well and good, but what about something to help when you actually need it. MoodMission offers that instant help.
8. Encourages activities that don’t rely on technology
The one thing a mental health app should not do is become a crutch. MoodMission uses missions that encourage participation in the real world, off of technology, because that is where the best learning of coping and mood improvement skills can happen.
9. Provides mental health and psychology information
Isn’t it nice when your doctor takes some time to explain something to you in easily understandable terms? Not only does it make you less uncertain and therefore less anxious about the whole thing, but it also increases your motivation to adopt healthy behaviours because you now know why you should. You know the rationale behind it.
MoodMission explains the evidence and principles behind every activity so you can know exactly why what you’re doing is helping.
10. Rewards you
It can be really hard to find the motivation to do anything when you’re anxious or depressed. And it can be hard to do the right things to keep yourself well when you’re not anxious or depressed. That’s why MoodMission has used gamification - a fancy word for using game-based rewards, like points and badges. These are the same principles that work with lots of fitness tracking and physical health apps. We’re bringing them to mental health.
11. Reminds you to engage
Do you have apps on your phone that you don’t even remember downloading. Apps often get downloaded and used once or twice, but don’t end up in our routines of phone use. Providing little reminders helps MoodMission ask “are you OK?” and reminds you that help is only a mission away.
12. Intuitive, easy-to-use interface that does not confuse
Lots of mental health apps are great if you know how to use them. But how do you know how to use them? You need them to be intuitive and clear. MoodMission uses the latest design techniques to aid in this clarity and simplicity so you can get the most out of the app.
13. Direct links to helpline services
Sometimes things get really tough and you need to talk to someone. Research has found that people are a lot more likely to reach out and talk to someone if all they have to do is simply touch a button. MoodMission will also be able to tell if you have been low or anxious for a long time, and then suggest to you how you might get some support. This will help to prevent people from spiralling into depression and considering suicide.
14. Experimentally validated in a randomised controlled trial
How do we know that MoodMission works? Well, we don’t really. But we don’t really know if any of the apps available on the app store work. That’s because none of them have had studies published showing experimental data that they work. MoodMission will use a randomised controlled trial to show that using the app can have mental health and well-being benefits. We will have the data to back up our claims.