At a recent Resettlement Passport training session, and a discussion of best practice, participants shared a number of mobiles apps that they felt to be helpful and relevant to the Resettlement Passport, and those receiving support with the move to independent living. As a result of this discussion, we have compiled a list of apps that were mentioned, that you or someone you know may find useful.
The Mindfulness App
The Mindfulness App is a free app that promotes the benefits of daily meditations to its users, through guided mindfulness and meditation. Daily meditation can provide a number of physical and psychological health benefits, from improving sleep quality and regulating heart rate, to lowering levels of stress and anxiety – which makes this app a great tool to have, providing meditation practices that can be useful when sustaining a tenancy, and in all other areas of life.
Key Pros – The app is free, and has options that can suit different levels and types of meditators, depending on what you want to get out mindfulness. It also has reminders, so you can be reminded to keep it up!
Something to think about – It has a ‘basics’ course, but you will have to pay if you want access to all the courses, and the key meditations around stress relief, work and relationships.
The DistrACT app is an app that aims to provide understanding and self-monitoring of self-harm and suicidal thoughts. It includes lots of information about safer alternatives, and support and advice information.
Key Pros – This app has lots of great features, including links to resources such as books, films and online videos, that may make the user feel better. The app can offer signposting to relevant local services, and provides contact details that may be needed in an emergency. It has also been assessed and certified by the NHS, and is free to download and use.
Calm Harm is another app aiming to help users resist or manage self-harm. This one works by setting the user small tasks to complete to help resist urges, with a focus on ‘surfing the urge’ – helping users ‘ride the wave’ until the urge has passed.
Key Pros – You can set a password to make this app private, so you wouldn’t have to worry about privacy and personal data. It also has the option to track any progress you feel has been made, so you can notice and reflect on changes. This app is also assessed and certified by the NHS, and is free to download and use.
Something to think about – Both the DistraACT app and Calm Harm provide really good ways for self-managing and monitoring self-harm, but neither can replace treatment or emergency services.
Brain in Hand
Brain in Hand is an app that aims to support the transition into independent living, and can assist with the different things that come hand in hand with sustaining a tenancy for the first time. It works by allowing its users to access self-management tools and human support that is personalised to them, and aims to increase independence by helping with things such as making decisions when feeling anxious, or coping with unexpected events.
Key Pros – It has a personal planning function, where users can plan out their day and set out and view the events in their daily routine. It allows access to strategies to help keep the day on track, and a traffic light system to help monitor feelings and experiences. The app forms a support system between the individual, carers and support teams, so if anything is flagged as red, the user can get the help they need to get back on track. The Brain in Hand website has lots of case studies from users who have successfully transitioned to independent living, become less vulnerable to loneliness and isolation, and developed lots of different coping strategies. As it is an online app, it can also be accessed out of hours.
Something to think about – The app offers links to a responder support team, but as with the other listed apps, it does not replace emergency services. As it requires a team of professionals to help support users, it is also not currently available to everyone - its currently being trialled to certain groups in Knowsley, paid for by Knowsley Council.
It was through the sharing of best practice that we could make this list. Do you know of other apps that may be useful for support workers to know about? We’d love to hear about them.