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A Level and GCSE results are due – here are five apps to help teens cope

Group of mixed age and ethnicity teenage friends on a walk in Beadnell, North East England. They are standing in a field looking at each others phones, talking together.
Featured image: Group of mixed age and ethnicity teenage friends on a walk in Beadnell, North East England. They are standing in a field looking at each others phones, talking together.

 

ORCHA has selected five mental health apps which could help anxious teenagers as they wait for their A Level and GCSE results (due on 18 August and 25 August).

The apps are:

  1. Tellmi
  2. Wysa
  3. Woebot
  4. Smiling Mind
  5. Feeling Good.

 

They allow young people to communicate with their peers anonymously, learn techniques to cope with anxiety and increase their resilience – and all in a safe environment.

Clinical psychologist Dr Humphreys, managing director of ORCHA, commented that Generation Z have grown up with tech and it’s like a natural language for them.

Dr Humphreys added:

“Teens who socialise online will find it entirely normal to also seek support in a virtual environment. In this ever present, always on world, you can use a health app and engage as much as you feel able, and at any time you like. There is good evidence of their effectiveness – and combining technology with others forms of support can provide a well-rounded way of meeting teenagers within their comfort zones, breaking down many barriers.”

Matt Pearson, 18, who studied at Derby College and is waiting for his A Level results next week, said:

“Oftentimes, talking to your parents about exam results seems circular. Because you’re trying to relieve stress by talking directly to a major component of the stress. What I would say, and what many others my age would as well, is that looking online can give you a better solution. Whether that is talking to your friends over social media, strangers on random forums or talking to a chatbot or playing a game.

“Talking to your parents is high consequence. Whereas talking to a random person is low consequence. They aren’t going to judge you and it won’t impact anything. It is just a method of expressing your emotions. Health apps allow you to do that in a safe manner.”

Independent research commissioned by ORCHA* found that:

  • 86% of 18-year-olds who had used a health app, felt the app had helped with their health.
  • 55% would use a mental health app recommended by their doctor.
  • The top reasons for teens chose to use health apps were convenience, immediacy and privacy.

ORCHA recommends that families select health apps carefully, as 80% still fail to pass its quality assurance process – many have insufficient clinical backing or are lax on data privacy. Apps which are NHS accredited or which appear on an ORCHA app library have been rigorously vetted and are safe to use.

MORE DETAIL ON ORCHA’S SELECTION

FOR GETTING REASSURANCE FROM PEERS – TELLMI

Tellmi was selected for this ORCHA list by a group of teen boys, who felt their peers would benefit from it.  It allows users to share their struggles and receive advice from other users. The app has a social media-like layout which teenagers will be very familiar with, making it more appealing and engaging. Tellmi has an age band feature that connects app users to others of a similar age.

Platforms: Apple iOS, Google, Android

Cost: Free

ORCHA score: 81%

FOR ANONYMOUS CHAT – WYSA  

Wysa was also selected by ORCHA’s teen panel. It’s an AI chatbot which allows users to express their feelings confidently and anonymously. Using short CBT activities, it helps users to cultivate confidence, reduce anxiety and improve general wellbeing.

Platforms:  Apple iOS and Android

Cost: The app is free to download and use on a limited basis. There are then in-app purchases.

ORCHA score: 85%

FOR HANDLING LIFE’S UPS AND DOWNS – WOEBOT

Woebot can help you think through situations step by step, using proven therapeutic methods. It’s used by millions of people every week to cope with anxiety, depression, loneliness and much more. It checks in with you, helping with insights and skills development.

Platforms: Apple iOS and Android

Cost: The app is entirely free.

ORCHA score: 84%

FOR GETTING BETTER SLEEP – SMILING MIND

This free mindfulness meditation app has programmes for youths (13-18) and adults (19+). It’s designed to look after your mind, helping with the pressure, stress and challenges. Learn how to relax and cope – and sleep better.

Platforms: Apple iOS and Android

Cost: The app is entirely free

ORCHA score: 77%

FOR EASY LISTENING – FEELING GOOD

Feeling Good is accredited by NHS digital. It provides mental health focussed audio tracks to help you build essential skills, bounce forward and become more resilient: a great option for teens who love podcasts. There are programmes for both teens and adults.

Platforms: Apple iOS and Android

Cost:  There are several free tracks, then the whole app can be unlocked with a referral code or one-time payment.

ORCHA  score: 90%

 

*OnePoll survey of 2000 consumers, May 2022

About ORCHA

Founded by NHS clinicians, ORCHA is the world’s leading digital health evaluation and distribution organisation. We provide services to national health bodies across three continents, including the NHS in 50% of UK regions, delivering national accreditation frameworks, bespoke Digital Health Libraries, and professional recommendation tools, specific to the needs of our clients. ORCHA’s unique Review Engine assesses digital health solutions against more than 300 measures across Clinical/Professional Assurance, Data u0026amp; Privacy, and Usability u0026amp; Accessibility, plus additional criteria depending on needs.

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