While there are many options to help with mental health, one particular app called the Virtual Hope Box (VHB) can be useful for coping with unpleasant emotions and thoughts which can impact a variety of mental health symptoms.
Is there research to show that this app is helpful?
- This app can help with emotional regulation and reducing stress according to a randomized controlled trial (1). Future studies are ongoing.
- Numerous research studies support many features of the app like relaxation skills and distraction techniques.
What is the cost?
- Free. It was developed via a government grant and was awarded the DoD Innovation Award in 2014.
What are the features of the VHB app?
- It comes with preloaded features like inspirational tools, relaxation skills, coping tools, distraction techniques, emergency contact numbers.
- It can also be customized to include your own music, images, phone numbers of supportive contacts, and reminders of reasons for living.
- You can fill out coping cards and activity planners with help of a mental health professional.
- These features are shown in the image below:
- For mental health support options: https://ccs.osu.edu/services/mental-health-support
- OSU Wellness App for Andriod and IOS. One easy place to find resources, connect to support, set goals, and build healthy habits.
- To participate in research on suicide prevention and treatment:
- The firearm suicide prevention study – for this one they are currently looking for around 50 more gun owners with and without a history of suicidal thoughts.
- The two-week PTSD treatment study for military personnel/veterans. This provides therapy either via telehealth or in person, depending on the veteran’s preference.
- The telehealth suicide treatment study for adults.
By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA OSU-CCS Psychiatrist
Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.
- Bush NE, Smolenski DJ, Denneson LM, Williams HB, Thomas EK, Dobscha SK. A virtual hope box: randomized controlled trial of a smartphone app for emotional regulation and coping with distress. Psychiatr Serv. 2017 Apr 1;68(4):330–6. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201600283.