New Apps May Help Teens With Mental Health Treatment

Mobile phone apps are typically a large part of teen life. Social media, games, and other apps are used by teens on a daily basis. Now some new apps are available that may help teens who are undergoing mental health treatment.


In research focused on non-medication alternatives to the treatment of severe mental health disorders, the University of Minnesota has been testing a number of apps to help teens. The study of the apps will be a contribution to a larger federal study of teens and young adults experiencing their first bout of psychosis. Researchers are hopeful that these apps can offer brain training and social support to teens who experience delusions and hallucinations.

The Apps

The two apps currently being tested at the university include BrainHQ and PRIME. Brain HQ is a commercially available app that researchers hope will improve cognition in teens with mental health issues. The app has been tested for its ability to help people with multiple sclerosis and those who have memory loss after cardiac emergencies. The app contains a number of exercises that a user performs with the aim of improving cognition. These exercises include a facial recognition game where users are given a brief image of a face and then have to match the face with an emotion. Improvement in cognition is important for individuals with severe mental health issues because disorders such as schizophrenia and psychosis can lead to problems with memory and thinking.

PRIME is a social networking app that researchers hope will help motivate teens and young adults during mental health treatment. When a teen experiences the symptoms of psychosis, they can feel isolated, scared, and ashamed. PRIME offers a secure platform where teens and young adults can interact in a group text about their symptoms and treatment. This connection to others who are experiencing psychosis can help stem the feelings of isolation. It’s important, especially during the teen years, to develop meaningful relationships, and these connections can be helpful during treatment.

If you or a loved one has a mental disability and has been arrested or convicted of a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Elizabeth Kelley specializes in representing individuals with mental disabilities. To schedule a consultation call (509) 991-7058.

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