Depression Management and Suicide Prevention Apps
To understand the similarities and differences between depression management and suicide prevention apps by looking at each app's features, advantages (pros), and disadvantages (cons). This will also include details on which features are missing and which features are important in the industry.
- There are numerous available apps on depression management and suicide prevention. Some apps are focused on depression management, some are focused on suicide prevention, and few are focused on both depression management and suicide prevention.
- In a 2019 study by Martinengo et al. entitled "Suicide prevention and depression apps' suicide risk assessment and management: a systematic assessment of adherence to clinical guidelines," about 2,690 relevant apps were initially searched but only 69 apps met the study's inclusion criteria. Of the 69 apps that were assessed, "there were 20 depression management apps (29%), 3 (4%) depression management and suicide prevention apps, and 46 (67%) suicide prevention apps." Out of the 20 depression management apps, eight (12%) are chatbots.
Missing and Important Features
- In the Martinengo 2019 study, about eight (12%) of the 20 depression management apps were found to be chatbots. Also, out of the 69 assessed apps, only five (7%) are utilizing the six suicide prevention strategies outlined by the study.
- Another missing but important feature is the correct crisis helpline number. Out of the 69 apps, six (9%) were found to have "provided an erroneous crisis helpline number." These include two apps that have been both downloaded over one million times each.
- The study outlined six suicide prevention strategies "based on evidence-based clinical guidelines" from WHO, the US, and the UK. These strategies include "tracking of mood and suicidal thoughts," "development of a safety plan," "recommendation of activities to deter suicidal thoughts," "information and education," "access to support networks," and "access to emergency counseling."
Depression Management Apps
- Some depression management apps include Moodpath, TalkLife, Moodtools, 7Cups, Sanvello, and Youper.
- TalkLife is an app that "offers connection and community support similar to group therapy." This app provides a "safe space to talk openly about depression with others who get it." It has a 4.6-star rating on iPhone and a 4.3-star rating on Android.
Suicide Prevention Apps
Summary of Early Findings
- We have provided some details regarding the missing and important features of the app, as well as examples of depression management and suicide prevention apps. We have also spent the initial hour of research looking for the availability of the needed information.
- We didn't have enough time to provide details for each app but we can do so with further hours of research.
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