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Top five mental health apps for the LGBTQ+ community

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

By Anika Nayak and Sojas Wagle, January 2021 Issue.

2020 was quite a year. In the midst of the surging pandemic, polarizing election, and alarming economy, it’s hard not to feel anxious. Understand that you are not alone and that your feelings are valid. 

“Though we don’t have a good deal of data, it does seem that, on average, the mental health of LGBTQ+ folks is getting worse during the pandemic. For instance, the Trevor Project crisis line for LGBTQ+ youth has seen a surge in volume,” says Dr. Jack Turban, MD, MHS, a child and adolescent psychiatry fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he researches the mental health of transgender youth. 

Seeking help may be a difficult step to take, but it’s a necessary one. Luckily, there are a lot of resources out there that can help you find support and affirmation. Mental health apps are a low-cost, accessible way to receive instant help for your struggles. While they aren’t a replacement for professional care, they have various functions to promote mental wellness, such as sleep reminders, calming music, and even mood trackers. Some apps also have teletherapy services, where you can communicate with a licensed specialist to get started with treatment. 

“One of the most important parts, and beautiful parts when used correctly, is that digital mental health tools and the internet in general, create a space for connections. [Mental health apps] are beneficial because they can help remove some of the possible barriers LGBTQ+ individuals deal with in less accepting environments. Hopefully, they can access such tools without someone standing in their way or being gatekeepers that bar their path to better health, says Dr. Chase Anderson, MD, MS, a child psychiatry fellow at the University of California San Francisco. 

Echo presents a list of five mental health apps that will make your life a little easier.

Ayana Therapy

Ayana is an app that helps people from marginalized communities find a therapist they can identify with based on their unique experiences and identities across race, gender identity, class, sexuality, ethnicity, and ability. This on-demand app allows for flexible communication across convenient platforms (text, phone, and video call) to get in touch with your LGBTQ+ therapist whenever you need to.

Available on iOS and Google Play.

Pride Counseling

This is an online counseling program for the LGBTQ+ community, led by specialized mental health professionals. Through the app, you can conveniently get in touch with a licensed specialist through live chat in addition to booking weekly scheduled appointments. Pride Counseling also offers need-based financial aid to make counseling affordable.

Available on iOS and Google Play.

Sowlmate 

Sowlmate is an LGBTQ+ focused self-care app with a wide library of interactive courses and meditation sounds designed by LGBTQ+ professionals. A key feature of this app is the AI-based mood tracker, where the data is used to showcase content tailored to your individual needs. New programs are released every week on the platform.

Available on iOS only.

Trill Project

This is an anonymous, social network where you can freely express yourself. Through the app, you can share your deepest, unfiltered thoughts and build authentic conversations with other members of the LGBTQ+ community. There is also tons of content focused on LGBTQ+ issues and mental health for users to discover and share.

Available on iOS and Google Play.

Wisdo

Wisdo is a peer-to-peer support platform to connect with people who’ve walked your path and share your own helpful advice. In the app, there are live sessions from mentors and virtual communities focused on discussing LGBTQ+ issues. You can also easily have private conversations with people you guide or learn from.

Available on iOS and Google Play.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit www.SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.com for additional resources.

If you are an LGBTQ young person in crisis, feeling suicidal or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the Trevor Lifeline immediately at 1-866-488-7386.