This month our featured service is HeadGear, an easy-to-use smartphone app, guiding users through a 30-day mental fitness challenge to build resilience and wellbeing. The app was developed by Black Dog Institute and is based on scientifically proven techniques to build good mental health.
What is HeadGear?
HeadGear is a smartphone app designed to build resilience, wellbeing and prevent things like depression and anxiety. The app features a range of 5 to 10 minute daily activities and challenges on a variety of topics to develop mental fitness, reduce and manage stress, connect better with friends and deal with difficult situations. HeadGear activities cover topics such as:
- Relaxation, mindfulness and breathing exercises
- Coping strategies to help manage life’s challenges and reduce stress
- Being supportive to friends going through tough times
- Getting active and staying healthy
- Improving sleep
- Building meaningful connections
HeadGear also includes links to mental health support options, and quick access to audio tracks, videos and strategies to support ongoing mental health maintenance. The app can also be personalised, as users are able to set their own actions for building mental health and wellbeing.
What’s the Evidence?
Results from the randomised controlled trial showed that individuals who received the HeadGear intervention had significantly reduced depressive symptoms over the course of the trial compared to those assigned to the control group. Prevalence of depression over the 12-month follow-up period was 3.5% for HeadGear recipients compared to 8.0% for the control group.
The HeadGear group also showed significantly better presenteeism, resilience, and wellbeing at follow-up time points compared to the control group. Work performance improvement was equivalent to an extra day of effective work each month.
Who is HeadGear for?
The HeadGear app was designed for a male audience however, it is appropriate for anyone aged 18 and above who would like to build good mental health.
Is there a cost to use HeadGear?
The app is free to download on smartphone devices, with no in app purchases.
How to access HeadGear
The HeadGear app can be downloaded from the App Store or on Google Play for Apple or Android smartphones, or learn about the app on the Black Dog Institute website at https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/resources-support/digital-tools-apps/headgear/.