distrACT app

An app for young people (17 years and older), with general information and advice about self-harm.

distrACT By Expert Self Care Ltd
  • Tips and ideas for safer alternatives to self-harm
  • Resources such as music, poems, quotes, books and videos
  • Information about managing the urge to self-harm and caring for yourself after an incident of self-harm
  • Links to a variety of useful resources including safety planning, mindfulness, and websites providing ideas for self soothing through art, reading, films, etc.

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Clinical review 

Read a clinical review of this app.

Security and privacy Does the app:
  • collect medical information? No
  • require a login? No
  • have password protection? Yes
  • have a privacy policy? Yes
  • require internet access? Yes
Read more safety tips around health apps.
Cost Free

What does the app do?

This app is for young people, 17 years and older, who are concerned about self-harming. The app is specifically aimed at young people living in the UK but there are many features that are applicable to young people living in New Zealand. For example, the following sections may be helpful:

  • About self harm has information about what self-harm is, myths and facts, warning signs, dangers, etc.
  • Self-help has information on how to identify your needs, manage the urge to self-harm and safer alternatives to self-harm.
  • Support has tips and suggestions on how to get support and speak with family and friends.
  • Chill zone has a variety of resources to help you feel relaxed and inspired, with the aim of giving you a different perspective on things. Examples of resources are poems, quotes, music, movie and videos.
  • Emergency has information on first aid and what to do in an emergency.

Note: The local support feature is not applicable to New Zealand users. It has links to local support in the UK.

For the complete app description, go to Google Play(external link), App Store(external link) or for a more detailed review, see Reviews. 


✔ Provides some practical tips and resources.

✔ Helps to increase knowledge of self-harm, suicide and related problems.

✔ Developed in conjunction with some UK medical institutions and health professionals.

There are some important omissions:

  • no information about bullying (online and real-life)
  • no information about sleep and nightmares (common in people who self-harm)
  • no information about eating disorders (self-harm is very common in adolescents with eating disorders)
  • no information about the potential harms of social media and tips to limit use.
  • many reasons for and functions of self harm are missing, meaning that not everyone will feel validated by this app’s take on self harm.

App relies on written information making it feel more like reading a pamphlet than an interactive app.

Relies heavily on links to external content which is vulnerable to change and errors.

Review details

  • April 2022, Version 2.1.1, Android
  • September 2019, Version: 1.0, Android

Related topics

Consumer guide: how to choose a health app
Clinicians guide: how to choose a health app
Self-harm prevention apps
NZ Health App Library


  1. Vieira AM, Lewis SP. Mobile apps for self-injury – a content analysis.(external link) Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2018 May;21(5):333-337. 
App developer: If you are the developer and would like to provide updated information about this app, please email the app library manager at hello@healthify.nz

Disclaimer: Healthify’s app library is a free consumer service to help you decide whether a health app would be suitable for you. Our review process is independent. We have no relationship with the app developers or companies and no responsibility for the service they provide. This means that if you have an issue with one of the apps we have reviewed, you will need to contact the app developer or company directly.

Data security and privacy information

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Netsafe, NZ, 2020

Credits: Healthify Editorial Team

Reviewed by: Kris Garstang, Clinical Psychologist, Life Mind Psychology

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