If you’re struggling with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or depression, an app might help.
But should you invest in a therapy app or one that only tracks symptoms? Which apps are credible, and which ones are scams — or even harmful?
The website PsyberGuidereviews mental-health apps so you can separate the wheat from the chaff. The site aims to provide unbiased reviews of mental-health apps and digital tools. Each tool is given scores for credibility, user experience and how transparent the app is about how it stores and uses your data.
Funded by nonprofit brain-research funder One Mind, PsyberGuide is spearheaded by academics at Northwestern University and the University of California at Irvine. It works in partnership with mental-health organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the International OCD Foundation.
In a landscape cluttered with apps, credibility counts. The project’s reviewers tell whether an app is supported by quality research and whether it’s designed to improve a specific condition, help something nonspecific, such as “mood,” or just track an issue.
You can use it to investigate a hot new app or search for one to try.
The site’s search function lets users narrow down apps based on platform and cost, or help them decide which target audience, condition or treatment type they want an app to address. You can also rank them by credibility score and read more in-depth expert reviews on some products.
A quick browse through the site’s reviews shows how wild and woolly the mental-health app space can be.
“Questionable” ratings and low scores abound. But there are a few good apps to be found. Right now, the site’s highest-ranked app is PTSD Coach, created by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense to help service members who have, or may have, PTSD.