distrACT app

An app for young people (17 years and older), with general information and advice about self-harm.

distrACT By Expert Self Care Ltd
  • Tips and ideas for safer alternatives to self-harm
  • Resources such as music, poems, quotes, books and videos
  • Self-care
  • Information and education

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Clinical review 

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

What does the app do?

This app is for young people, 17 years and older, who are concerned about self-harming. The app is specifically aimed at young people living in the UK but there are many features that are applicable to young people living in New Zealand. For example, the following sections may be helpful:

  • About self harm has information about what self-harm is, myths and facts, warning signs, dangers, etc.
  • Self-help has information on how to identify your needs, manage the urge to self-harm and safer alternatives to self-harm.
  • Support has tips and suggestions on how to get support and speak with family and friends.
  • Chill zone has a variety of resources to help you feel relaxed and inspired, with the aim of giving you a different perspective on things. Examples of resources are poems, quotes, music, movie and videos.
  • Emergency has information on first aid and what to do in an emergency.

Note: The local support feature is not applicable to New Zealand users. It has links to local support in the UK.

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


✔ A large amount of practical tips.

✔ Increase knowledge of self-harm, suicide and related problems.

✔ Developed in conjunction with some UK medical institutions and health professionals.

✘ None of the video links appear to be working.

✘ The external links use the in-app web browser, which is very buggy and this renders most of the links unusable. The user is not able to open the links in a normal browser.

✘ Many links are broken.

✘ Last updated 2 years prior to review. They had planned to review the app in July 2018 which has not happened.

✘ There are some important omissions:
  • no information about bullying (online and real-life)
  • no information about sleep and nightmares (common in people who self-harm)
  • no information about eating disorders (self-harm is very common in adolescents with eating disorders)
  • no information about the potential harms of social media and tips to limit use.

Review details

Date of review: September 2019
Platform reviewed: Android
Version: 1.0
Download size: 83 MB
Updated on: 29 October 2017 

App developer
If you are the developer and would like to provide updated information about this app, please email the app library manager at applibrary@healthnavigator.org.nz.

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This app has been reviewed by other independent websites. 

NHS app library 


  1. Vieira AM, Lewis SP. Mobile apps for self-injury: a content analysis. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2018 May;21(5):333-337. 

Disclaimer: Health Navigator’s app library is a free consumer service to help you decide whether a health app would be suitable for you. Our review process is independent. We have no relationship with the app developers or companies and no responsibility for the service they provide. This means that if you have an issue with one of the apps we have reviewed, you will need to contact the app developer or company directly.

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Credits: Editorial team. Reviewed By: Jeremy Steinberg, GP, FRNZCGP Last reviewed: 20 Sep 2019