Depression affects almost 15 million American adults annually, according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Depression and mental health issues can emerge at any age. Caregivers and senior clients alike who experience depressing stretches or suicidal thoughts will benefit from ReliefLink, an app specifically designed to help prevent suicide and improve mental health.
When user first visit the ReliefLink app, the menu offers options to track how they're feeling that day. Users select an option on a mood scale from Very Good to Very Low. They also can select an option on a scale from No Suicidal Thoughts to Strong Urge to Act on Plan Immediately. This tracking serves as a resource between therapy sessions or to share with a mental health professional when visiting for the first time.
The Reminders area of the app allows users to set a reminder for an appointment, to take a medication, or for another event. Users can make a note and attach it to the reminder for specific instructions regarding an appointment or medication instructions and select the time for notification as well as if the reminder is one time or should be repeated.
The Safety Planning area allows users to note their own warning signs, such as feeling trapped, sleep problems or threatening to hurt or kill oneself. Next, users select self coping strategies such as physical activity, listening to relaxing music or relaxation exercises. For every warning sign, caregivers or their senior clients should develop a self coping strategy. Other areas in safety planning ask users to list places for distraction, friends I can ask for help, professionals I can contact, and maintaining a safe environment. For caregivers using the app with their senior clients who may be feeling depressed, it may help to reassure them that you're a friend they can ask for help.
The Resources and Emergency areas of the app provide caregivers information on therapists and support groups in the area as well as options for course of action during an emergency. The app overall provides users the ability to track their daily feelings and notice trends or disruption of patterns in thinking to understand and overcome their depression better.
The ReliefLink app is available for Apple platforms.
Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist.