Self-help App for the mind (SAM)

Self-help App for the mind (SAM) app

  • An app created by the University of West of England to help people cope with anxiety, depression and loneliness.
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Self-help App for the mind (SAM) app By University of the West of England and MyOxygen

Features

  • Self-help tools.
  • Education and information.
  • Mood tracking.
  • Trigger log.
  • Community forum.
Country of origin United Kingdom
Clinical review 

2 star review


Read a clinical review, including safety concerns, below.

Security and privacy Does the app:
  • Collect medical information? Yes
  • Require a login? Yes
  • Have password protection? Yes
  • Have a privacy policy? Yes
  • Require internet access to use? No but the app has limited functionality offline

Read more about safety and security when using apps.

Brochures:
Tips to improve your privacy and security [PNG, 200 KB] Health Navigator Charitable Trust, NZ
Staying safe online(external link) Netsafe, NZ

Cost Free
How to get the app

Self-help App for the Mind (SAM) helps users learn about anxiety, depression and loneliness and practice self-help techniques to manage them.

  • Users can keep track of their mood and triggering situations.
  • The self-help section offers a variety of tools such as breathing exercises, muscle relaxation exercises, meditation, thought exercises and tips.
  • Users  can create a list of favourite self-help tools.
  • The app also has a discussion forum for users to get and give support. 

For a more detailed description of the app, see Apple Store(external link)Google Play(external link) or iTunes(external link) and for a detailed review, see reviews below.

PROS CONS 

Support from community forum available.

Provides links to other self-help resources.

Instructions for using app provided but are difficult to find.

Educational components and readings are minimal and superficial.

Although the app provides many different self-help tools, these are difficult to locate and are provided in written, instructional format rather than more interactive means. Some provide incorrect or incomplete instructions for the strategies described.

Some content is not functioning, eg, broken links, and muscle relaxation exercise doesn't play.

Content doesn't address different types of anxiety disorders making advice too general at times to be useful.

Difficult to navigate, unstructured or information provided out of order.

Clinical review

2 star review



Reviewer
: Kris Garstang, Clinical Psychologist, Life Mind Psychology
Date of review: April 2022
Platform: Android
Version: 1.1.0
Comments: I don’t think this app is useful for those wanting tools to self-manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. Although it does contain some useful information about strategies, these are difficult to find and the content is unreliable in its quality. It does not have an evidence base and there are apps on the market that are much more interactive than this one, which tends to give written instructions for strategies, rather than interactive ways to practice them. It also seemed to me that this app has had limited clinical input in its latest iteration as some instructions for coping tools are incorrect. The only really interactive exercises provided are broken or have limited functionality, making it a frustrating experience for the user.
NZ relevance: The Unable to Cope section of this App relates solely to UK based support. The links supplied to others pages and agencies all relate to UK material and experiences.
Safety concerns
: The emergency contact sections for this app are difficult to find and are all UK based. Instructions for accessing emergency support are confusing. Moderation of the community forum appears infrequent. 


Clinical review

4 star review



Reviewer
: Robynann Dyson, Primary Health Nurse, Whangarei
Date of review: October 2017
Platform: Android
Version: 1.2.6

Comments: The app is easy to use and relevant. It allows the user to gain a deeper understanding into anxiety, its triggers and management. It is a bit wordy at times, although with familiarity of the app, this is negated.
Safety concerns: None
New Zealand relevance: Fine

Other useful resources

This app has been reviewed by other independent websites.

Self-help anxiety management – a professional review(external link) One Mind PsyberGuide

References

Review of Self Help Anxiety Assessment app(external link) iMedicalApps, July 2015
SAM website(external link)
Bakker D, Kazantzis N, Rickwood D, et al. Mental Health Smartphone Apps: Review and Evidence-Based Recommendations for Future Developments.(external link) JMIR Ment Health. 2016 Mar 1;3(1):e7.
Van Singer M, Chatton A, Khazaal Y. Quality of smartphone apps related to panic disorder(external link) Front Psychiatry. 2015 Jul 14;6:96.

Disclaimer: The NZ Health 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.

Credits: Healthify editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.