Mental health and wellbeing apps (for teenagers and young people)

Apps for anxiety, stress, depression and general mental health.

The following apps for mental health and well being are specifically aimed at young people.

There are a variety of mobile phone apps for anxiety, stress, depression and general mental health — see apps for mental health and wellbeing. Many of them are more suited to adults, but can be used by young people as well. The following are examples of apps that have been designed specifically for young people.

App Features Clinical review

SPARX

  • Interactive games
  • Teaches CBT techniques
  • Teaches self-help skills
  • Age group: 12 to 19 years
  • Country of origin: New Zealand 
  • Available from Google Play and iTunes
  • Cost: free
  • Read more about SPARX

Aroha chatbot

  • A chatbot for young people to help them manage their worries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Age group: 13–24 years old
  • Country of origin: New Zealand
  • Web-based
  • Cost: free
  • Read more about Aroha chatbot
 

Just a Thought

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programme for generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and depression
  • Age group: 16 years and older 
  • Country of origin: New Zealand
  • Web-based
  • Cost: free
  • Read more about Just a Thought

The clinical score depends on the context in which Just a Thought is used.

If guided by a relevant health professional with phone or email follow up, or self-guided for highly motivated people:




If you use this on your own without a health provider, studies show fewer people complete the full course (although completing even one session could be helpful) so the score is lower:




If the user has a mental health condition other than what is offered in the available courses. However, they may still find them useful:

Two out of five stars

Aunty Dee

  • Problem solving tool aimed at Pacific and Maori young people
  • Age group: 14-25 years
  • Country of origin: New Zealand
  • Available from Aunty Dee website
  • Cost: free
  • Read more about Aunty Dee

Smiling Mind

  • Guided meditation and mindfulness
  • Meditation reminders
  • Age group: 7 years and older
  • Tailored programmes for different age groups
  • Country of origin: Australia
  • Available from Google Play and iTunes
  • Cost: free
  • Read more about Smiling Mind

Mindshift

  • Self-help tools
  • Education and information
  • Anxiety tracking
  • Age group: teens and young people
  • Country of origin: Canada
  • Available from Google Play and iTunes
  • Cost: free
  • Read more about Mindshift

Learn more

As there are so many apps to support mental health and wellbeing, we have not been able to review all those available. We have instead identified independent organisations that have reviewed these apps.

  • ReachOut.com (Australia): aimed at helping young people get through anything from everyday issues to tough time. 
  • PsyberGuide (United States): aims to help people make responsible and informed decisions about apps and other digital tools for mental health.
  • Mind in Brighton and Hove (United Kingdom): aims to promote good mental health.

You may also find the following article useful: Do mental health apps really work? Patient.info UK

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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Last reviewed: 10 Dec 2018