Calm Harm app

An app to reduce the urge to self-harm.

Calm Harm By stem4
Features
Clinical review 
User reviews 

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Security and privacy Does the app:
  • collect medical information? Yes
  • require a login? No
  • have password protection? Yes
  • have a privacy policy: Yes
  • require internet access? No
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Cost Free

What does the app do?

This app comprises a number of activities that help users to resist and manage the urge to self-harm. For each activity, users can choose a 5-minute rule activity or a 15-minute rule activity. Users can hide activities that they don't find helpful. Example of activities include the following:

  • Comfort has more than 30 activities that are meant to offer comfort such as stroking a pet, looking at a book that has pictures or wording you love, giving yourself a hug or gently rocking your body, etc.
  • Distract has more than 50 activities that are intended to distract the user, such as how many singers can you name, say the 19 times table, collect images that make you happy, etc.
  • Express yourself has suggestions of ways you can express yourself, such as saying out loud what's bothering you, keeping a diary of your thoughts and feelings, engaging in a spiritual activity, etc.   
  • Release provides safe alternatives to self-harm, such as squeezing a rubber ball very hard, having a temper tantrum somewhere private, singing something really loudly.  
  • Breathe is a breathing technique to reduce stress and anxiety symptoms. 
  • Random is a random scramble of the activities above.

For the complete app description, go to the App website, Google Play, App Store or for a more detailed review, see Reviews

PROS CONS 

✔ Developed in consultation with a clinical psychologist using principles of Dialectic Behaviour Therapy (DBT), a therapy commonly used to help with self-harm.

✔ Activities are categorised into comfort, distract, express yourself and release. Within each category are a multitude of activity ideas.

✔ The user can hide activities that are less helpful.

✔ Countdown timer for completing the 5 minute (in 5 lots of 60 seconds) and 15-minute activities.

✔ There is a random function which lets the user choose a random category or activity.

✔ There is also a breathe category for focusing on controlling the user’s breathing in 1 minute blocks with visual feedback.

✔ Log and track your feelings after each activity. The app also tracks general usage to determine when the user has the strongest urges.

✔ Personalise the app by choosing a colour theme and mascots.

✘ Password protection is a double-edged sword. There are multiple reviews from users who have forgotten their passwords and are locked out (requiring re-installation). This could be more common in periods of crisis. However, password protection is optional.

✘ No contact list for local mental health support resources. However, there is a blank contact section where the user can add their own contacts.

✘ No guided meditation or visualisation, which are common in mental health apps.

✘ Cannot export data.

Review details

Date of review: September 2019
Platform reviewed: Android
Version: 3.2.3
Download size: 5.2 MB
Updated on: 20 December 2018

Learn more

This app has been reviewed by other independent websites.

Calm Harm NHS App Library
Calm Harm Mind
The “Calm Harm” app – a user review eMHprac
Calm Harm MindTools.io

References

  1. Vieira AM, Lewis SP. Mobile apps for self-injury: a content analysis. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2018 May;21(5):333-337.
Credits: Editorial team. Last reviewed: 20 Sep 2019