A NEW free app has been launched to help those in the community suffering from anxiety.
The self-help anxiety reduction app, named SHARA for short, has been created by the Western Trust as a tool to help local people help themselves. Due to be released across the Trust in the coming weeks, the app is aimed at helping people reduce mild anxiety at home.
“It describes what anxiety is, the different types of anxiety and helps you to recognise the symptoms of anxiety,” said Dr Lisa Brady, consultant psychiatrist at the Trust.
“It will also advise you on how and when to take your medication, provides a list of distraction techniques, useful resources and also consists of suggested activities to help lessen your anxiety.”
Dr Brady said the app was unique because it had not only been developed by mental health professionals but also with the input from other healthcare professionals, service users, and student nurses.
“The aim of this app is to provide an excellent resource for people to manage their anxiety and empower them to develop their mental health resilience as they continue to face challenges in the future,” she said.
Community psychiatric nurse, Jennifer Sharkey, said the app would be free and accessible to all.
“The information provided will help the user to develop their own personalised tool kit of methods to help them manage their mild anxiety,” she said.
“It focuses on early access to self-help resources to help prevent your symptoms from deteriorating, however, if you have any concerns or feel worse there will be information available on how to access mental health services in your local area at any time either during the day or out of hours.”
“We are very grateful for the comments received so far and we will continue to collate comments from service users using a QR Code which will help to develop the contents of the app in the future,” said Ms Sharkey.
The app will soon be available to download from the Western Trust website, www.westerntrust.hscni.net
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