This episode will discuss the Mood Mission app, its development and role in mental health treatment, and the future of digital mental health resources in the health sector.
In this episode of Digital Mental Health Musings host, Dr. Ruth Crowther speaks to David Bakker about the MoodMission app, integrating mental health apps into treatment, and the ongoing development of digital interventions.
Dr David Bakker is the Founding Director of MoodMission. He is a clinical psychologist in private practice and has previously worked in rural mental health outreach, youth mental health, disability support, and a range of psychology services. He also teaches postgraduate psychology at the Institute for Social Neuroscience. He is passionate about technology and the evolution of its use in mental health support. David believes that his fresh approach to mental health apps gives him an advantage over other developers. Many currently available mental health apps are replications of low-tech self-help mental health interventions, like worksheets and diaries. David is deeply interested in the advanced interactive capabilities of smartphones and wants to pursue creative ways to employ them in mental health apps. He looks forward to integrating technology throughout his future clinical and research career.
The influences, development, and features of MoodMission
While working with Associate Professor Nikki Rickard, on the MoodPrism app, David began thinking about the MoodMission app with the intention of creating a resource that was more clinically focused and practical for people to use independently and with support. After exploring and identifying the gap in the market for a ‘one size fits all’ resource providing evidence-based strategies to address users’ feelings. With crowd-funding support, the app development began, based on evidence-based research.
MoodMission was designed with the intention of leveraging the strengths of apps, being available anytime from anywhere, for a preventative intervention for anyone. The app invites users to describe how they are feeling and then provides quick, effective tasks or ‘missions’ to improve their mood and develop new and better ways of coping with life’s challenges. The more users interact with the app, the more MoodMission will learn from their preferences and outcomes to provide tailored, personalised missions.
How can MoodMission be used with face-to-face treatment?
Health practitioners can use tools such as MoodMission as an adjunct to face-to-face treatment to maximize their use of time in sessions, with apps helping to teach skills and begin the work between in-person sessions. Apps can be introduced to clients as part of the homework setting exercise, downloaded, and set up in sessions with clinician assistance. It is important to allow time to go through the app with clients before the end of a session to discuss how they can use it, provide tips and strategies, and address any concerns they may have.
MoodMission in particular can be useful as a reminder of homework tasks, as well as provide suggestions and strategies outside of those discussed in therapy. This allows clients to find out what works best for them, building their confidence, and improving outcomes. Tools like Mood Mission can also be used before and after face-to-face treatment for ongoing support when they need it.
The ongoing development of digital mental health tools and resources.
There are a variety of smartphone apps at the moment which are impacting our attention and wellbeing, such as social media platforms. While it is important to integrate digital mental health into existing systems, strategies to limit the negative effects of apps on smartphone users and research into how people are using their phones currently is vital. Examining the positive and negative effects of current smartphone usage, the logistics of using digital interventions with clients, and training across care settings will improve how apps address and appeal to clients, as well as how resources can be integrated into care.
MoodMission Website: https://moodmission.com/
Download MoodMission (Apple App Store): https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/moodmission/id1140332763?mt=8
Download MoodMission (Google Play): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.com.mood.mission
Contact David Bakker and the MoodMission team at https://moodmission.com/#contact-section
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