The best mental wellness apps for underrepresented groups
With mental health awareness more important than ever, here are the best mental wellness apps that take underrepresented groups into consideration
The number of people seeking help for mental health issues has steadily increased over the last three years and continues to grow. According to the latest NHS statistics, 1.72 million people were in contact with mental health services at the end of May 2023.
Although the root causes of mental health issues are complex and your identity doesn’t give you mental health problems, some groups are more likely to suffer from them than others. For example, Research in Psychology and Sexuality shows that the mental health of LGBTQIA+ individuals continues to be proportionately poorer than that of their heterosexual counterparts.
"Often technology can help when people are reluctant to seek face-to-face help"
A further issue is that many people in underrepresented groups are reluctant to seek professional help and support for their mental health problems, possibly because of real or perceived barriers to effective care.
Often technology can help when people are reluctant to seek face-to-face help. Apps offer solutions that can be accessed from anywhere, in relative anonymity. But while there are undoubtedly many great mental health care apps, the solutions they offer may seem too general to truly address the specific needs of marginalised communities.
Thankfully, a new generation of apps has emerged to change the landscape. Often designed by members of the communities they serve, these programs make mental wellbeing more inclusive and accessible for all.
The best apps for people of colour
SPOKE is a meditation app designed to deliver mental health support for music lovers, particularly people who have found that more traditional forms of meditation don’t suit them.
"SPOKE cleverly combines mental health tools with binaural and hip-hop beats"
Created by a group of musical artists working with scientific advisers in London, SPOKE cleverly combines mental health tools like mindfulness, CBT, and positive psychology with binaural and hip-hop beats, nature sounds, ambient music, and guided lyricism.
Over seven hours of immersive tracks are available on the free SPOKE app, offering users a fantastic way to achieve a state of deep mindfulness and relaxation.
Reju is another meditation and self-care app, launched to respond to the rapid growth in mental health challenges in African American communities. Reju offers a wealth of motivational content to reduce stress, improve mental health, and lead users towards better living. Best of all is the welcoming Reju community, where you can connect with peers and get support with issues they’re also facing.
Liberate.cx is a daily meditation app specifically for the BIPOC community, with mindfulness resources that address topics such as race, microaggressions, anxiety, and self-worth. It draws on expert teachers from diverse cultures to offer wisdom everyone can benefit from.
Apps for women
Exhale is a wellbeing app providing resources for women of colour within a beautifully designed, thoughtfully presented package. There are self-affirmations, meditations, and breathing exercises where you can literally “exhale” and free yourself from negativity.
Clementine provides hypnotherapy sessions and courses for women struggling with anxiety and low self-esteem to help with mental wellbeing. There are starter sessions for total beginners. While many of the resources can equally be used by men, the approach is firmly female-led, with welcome guidance for topics including menopause.
Renowned mental health app Headspace has launched the Headspace Women’s Collection to provide welcome meditation resources for women. These cover a wide range of issues, including sex and relationships, self-worth, and solidarity. A series of body-supportive sessions are aimed at helping women healing after a miscarriage or struggling with fertility.
Apps for LGBTQIA+ communities
According to Mind, people who identify as LGBTQIA+ are 2–3 times more likely than heterosexual people to report having a mental health problem.
"It’s clear that the psychotherapists who designed Voda have taken great care to offer help to the diverse LGBTQIA+ community"
Voda is a mental wellness app offering self-guided therapy based on mindfulness and CBT principles specifically for the LGBTQIA+ community. Meditations, affirmations, and extended therapy programs cover topics like Overcoming Internalised Stigma and Coping With Anxiety.
It’s clear that the psychotherapists who designed Voda have taken great care to offer help to the diverse LGBTQIA+ community, with significant support for trans and non-binary users.
Apps for people with disabilities
Balance: Disability Self Care
Balance: Disability Self Care provides the best solution for people coping with disabilities to find self-care and affirmations that speak specifically to their needs rather than the generalities offered by apps targeting the broadest possible audience.
Users of the app build a personal statement bank from 19 categories of self-affirmations, resulting in a series of positive thoughts and affirmations that apply directly to your situation.
Help is at hand for everyone
If you’re struggling with your mental health, you’re not alone. There is help and support out there. With so many diverse apps now available, finding solutions that speak to your specific situation has never been easier.
While these resources contain a wealth of support and advice, it’s still important to consult a medical professional if you need further help. And if you’re feeling well, you can still use these apps to provide welcome self-care tools to boost your mental wellbeing.
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