A new mental health app is designed to help quake victims recover from trauma and promote general well being, the app, which works by setting self-care goals, is the latest tool from All Right?, a public health campaign in New Zealand set up to help people recover from the emotional effects of earthquakes.
App users would be offered easy "mini missions" each day to improve mental health and well-being. As they complete the mini missions the app will reward them with positive feedback and bead-filled hearts that show how many goals they have reached.
"There is plenty of evidence that being proactive about caring for well-being can give us a real boost, even when times are stressful," All Right? public health specialist Lucy D'Aeth was quoted as saying. "While there's no magic wand to ensure good mental health and well-being, taking a few simple steps each day to care for ourselves can help us feel better. We want people to use the app as a means to improving their mental well-being in a busy and sometimes stressful world."
The missions were related to the 'Five Ways to Well being', designed by the New Economics Foundation in England.
These included connecting with others, learning new skills, giving time to others, taking notice of the good things around you and being active.
Examples of the mini-missions included: 'Play an old school game' (connect), 'Try a new recipe' (keep learning), 'Smile at a stranger or 10' (give), 'Take a photo of something you are grateful for' (take notice) and 'Get our side for a walk, bike or kick around' (be active).
The most recent research by All Right? released in February showed that while many people had made good progress in recovering from the effects of the earthquakes, others - including those with unsettled EQC and insurance claims - were still facing enormous stressors.
"It can sound trite to suggest to someone living in a broken home to go for a short walk outside or phone a friend they have been meaning to catch up with but often doing small things like this can 'top up' our well being and ensure we are mentally fit to deal with the stresses in our life," D'Aeth said.
The app is now available via the Apple App Store and Google Play for android phones.