Mental health apps can kickstart your well-being in the New Year

LORAIN COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - January can be a difficult month if you're suffering from depression or battling those winter blues.

It's a good time to take stock of your mental health-- and everything you need could be right on your cell phone.

We're taking a look at mental health apps and how they can help you, whether you're dealing with depression, anxiety or just too much stress.

Just a few minutes using some of these apps could make a difference.

Some apps on your cell phone may actually help your mental health.

Ann app called Calm earned Apple's "App of the Year" in 2017. It's for meditation and relaxation.

The app 7 Cups gives you online therapy, with thousands of therapists just a click away.

And an app called SuperBetter makes overcoming life's challenges a game.

Cleveland19 went to the experts to see if they are worth a try.

Dr. Kathleen Kern is the executive director of the Lorain County Board of Mental Health.

She's also a psychologist.

"They're nice because they teach good coping mechanisms, they remind you of good habits in the same way as your pedometer tells you you're being lazy," Dr. Kern said.

"I think having that kind of help in your hands at any time is a good asset," she said.

Jackie DeMate uses an app called Simple Habit to meditate and remind her during the day to get off of her phone.

"There's always a point where you need to stop. And I think apps like this are a good way to let them help you take a break from your phone," she said.

DeMate, an employee at Cleveland19, says apps like this are a great way to take care of yourself on a daily basis.

She uses the app Tide to cut down her social media use. It tracks her time on social media and lets her know when she needs to log off.

"If you have something that can help you get on track or have your day go a little bit smoother, I think you should definitely use it," DeMate said.

Dr. Kern says no app can replace face-to-face therapy, but overall, she gives them a thumbs up.

"When you're really intent about tracking behavior you want to change and you have an app to give you feedback, that can really complement it in a way that is additive and can lead to better outcomes," she said.

There's also an app called Friend2Friend that trains students and teachers how to spot the signs of suicide and depression by using avatars and simulating conversations.

Free crisis help lines are just a text a way. You can text "4hope" to 741741 if you need help, day or night.

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