In recent years, words like ‘mindfulness’, ‘wellness’ and ‘checking in’ have become mainstream. And so has the phrase ‘there’s an app for that’.
Apps can be a great way to make help and guidance both accessible, and portable. But with so many out there, all the options can be a bit overwhelming, which is the opposite of what they’re meant to do. We’ve looked at some of the popular wellbeing apps and taken them for a test drive.
Apps to assist you to look after yourself and be the best you possible. Can focus on any aspect you choose, such as sleep, exercise, food.
|Happify||Activities and games for stress and anxiety This app offers science-based activities and games that help you to deal with stress and build resilience and self-confidence. There are both free and paid options and age based activities from 12 years to adults. We loved this app because it’s bright, engaging and fun for a wide audience.|
|WorryTime||Put your worries on hold Everyone has worries pop into their head from time to time, but sometimes they don't go away and start to impact your everyday life. WorryTime teaches you to set aside your worries until later, so you don’t get caught up thinking about them over and over. This app encourages focus and problem solving, rather than dwelling on issues and has great tracking and confidentiality options.|
Apps to improve skills like focus, speech, comprehension and memory to get your mind fighting fit.
|Lumosity||Train your brain Scientifically backed brain games to test your critical thinking, memory and problem-solving skills. Great graphics and you can play on your phone or tablet.|
|Elevate||Next level brain training A mix of easy-to-use-math, writing, speaking and reading activities to improve your focus, speech, comprehension and memory. We loved this app after the 14-day free trial, but there is a yearly cost of $67.|
Mindfulness and meditation
Apps to help you master the art of mindfulness and meditation and become totally zen.
|Calm||Meditate. Sleep. Wisdom. Music. The Calm app has a wide range of meditation options and programs including serene photos and special focus areas. One of our reviewers commented that their husband, who isn’t a meditator, really likes it and purchased a yearly subscription.|
|Headspace||Meditation and mindfulness made simple The Headspace app is an excellent introduction to meditation apps with short ‘single’ themed meditations which can be set to 3, 5 or 10 minutes duration. We like the voice of Andy Puddicombe who leads the meditations.|
|Insight Timer||Learn to meditate Boasting the largest meditation community on earth, Insight Timer offers guided meditations from the world’s best teachers on every topic you can imagine. It even has a feature to enable you to see other profiles meditating in your area. Simply put your settings to private if you’d prefer not to.|
Apps that offer tips for helping others and checking in with your own mental health, as well as connecting you to professional mental health services.
|The Check-in||How to ask 'how are you?' The check-in app is a great way to teach young people, and even adults, how to start the sometimes awkward conversation about how someone is feeling. The app suggests places, strategies and wording to help guide your conversation. It also offers next steps and suggestions for where to go for help.|
|Mind the Bump||Mindful parenting Learn about the importance of mindfulness meditation for parenting, as well as how your child’s brain develops. This app is for mothers, fathers, single parents and same sex couples. It can also be used by health professionals working with new and expecting parents.|
A word of warning: not all apps are created equal.
Make sure anything you use works for you, makes you feel good and consider how any personal information you hand over is used. GMHBA does not endorse any specific app.
These apps don’t replace face to face support, peers or professionals. If you’re looking for more support, consider:
- Your GP
- beyondblue offer 24/7 phone support, online chat, email and community forums as well as links to professionals
- Lifeline Australia for crisis support
- For support finding your way through the health system in relation to mental health, the GMHBA Health Navigation line can provide members with guidance, referrals and location-based information
What health insurance benefits are there for mental health conditions?
GMHBA Health Insurance offers different packages and extras policies that offer benefits for visits to a psychologist. The more comprehensive the policy, the higher the annual limit you are covered for. Inpatient psychiatric services are included under hospital cover in public hospitals as a private patient, or in private hospitals depending on your level of cover.
If you need assistance with any mental health concerns, whether via your hospital, or through counselling sessions, it is important to make sure your health insurance policy includes psychological cover so you have access to the best help possible. If you need help deciding what the best health insurance with psychology benefits or psychiatric services is for you, or want to know more about our hospital, extras or packages cover, we are here to answer any questions.
Check in on your mental health and get rewarded
Your mental health and wellbeing is about being able to function to your full potential in your daily roles such as at work and home, cope with daily stresses, be involved in your community, and generally enjoy life. It is natural to have highs and lows in your mental health in response to life’s challenges; this doesn’t necessarily mean you are experiencing a mental illness.
It’s important to take a moment to check in with yourself and reflect on these things. GMHBA AIA Vitality members can complete online mental wellbeing tests including stressor assessments, psychological wellbeing and social support. Plus, members can earn up to 1,500 points towards their status per calendar year (250 points per online assessment every six months).
GMHBA with AIA Vitality is your health insurance with a personalised, scientifically-backed health and wellness program that supports you every day to make healthier lifestyle choices.
It supports you to understand your health, provides the tools to start improving your health right away, and offers great incentives to keep you motivated along your journey - earn benefits such as up to 50% off flights, up to $650 in shopping rewards and more. Find out more today.
If you or someone you know needs help please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.