How to add digital mental health apps to your self-care toolkit

The Telstra Foundation is a long-standing partner of Orygen Digital, the technology division of Australia’s leading youth mental health organisation, and the creators of Mello. The Foundation’s philanthropic support helps Orygen Digital translate their research and development into real world outcomes for young people.
Li Tan - Orygen Digital Youth Advisory Group member · 26 April 2024 · 3 minute read

Image - A hand holding a phone with the Mello app on it

Supporting your self-care

Taking care of yourself and your mental health is hard! Life is busy enough, whether you’re juggling work, studies or making time for friends and family.

Digital mental health apps can support you on your self-care journey, especially when you have limited time, money and access to the right types of support. They can give you the space and confidence to process emotions whenever you need to, especially when other support is not available - like on the weekend or late at night.

Making the most of mental health apps

With so many options online, it might feel like a lot, but having choices means you can find an app that fits your needs.

Here’s a quick guide on how to make the most out of digital mental health apps so you can add them to your self-care toolkit.

1. Find the right app

There are several ways you can find the right app for you. Consider what you want to achieve. Maybe you want to track your mood, vent your frustrations or try some mindfulness activities to calm you down.

Google ‘mental health tools and apps’ and see what pops up. Most apps should have an overview of the features and help you understand what to expect when you download or sign up to the app.

Tip: Look for apps backed by science or recommended by mental health experts. Check out what other users are saying about the app to see how it works and how it might help you.

Check where your data is going to protect your information.

2. Give Mello a go

Once you’ve found a few you like, download them and see which ones resonate. It's OK if it takes a few tries to find the right one.

If you don’t know where to start, check out Mello. It’s developed by Orygen, Australia’s leading not-for-profit youth mental health organisation, with young people that have lived experience of depression and anxiety.

Mello makes it easy to prioritise your mental health with evidence-based activities and personalised recommendations, even on your busiest days.

3. Integrate them into your routine

It's all too easy to download an app, use it once, and forget about it.

Set yourself up for success by breaking your mental health goals into smaller steps. Start by setting aside just five minutes every day to use the app. You can fit it in with your usual routine – use it while sipping your morning coffee or before getting into bed.

Consistency is key

Jot down your plan and stick it somewhere visible, like your phone's home screen or a sticky note on your mirror.

Dedicating the same time each day and setting reminders on your phone will help you to remember to use your app.

Mello has a great scheduling feature to remind you to check-in with yourself every day - at a time you choose.

4. Be kind to yourself

It can be much harder than usual to use these apps when you’re feeling low or overwhelmed. That’s why it’s important to practice using them during your calmer moments, so you’re prepared to lean on them when things get tough.

It takes time

Don't hesitate to reach out for support from friends, family, or healthcare professionals along the way. It’s a great way to share ideas with each other and hold yourself accountable.

Caring for your mental health takes time. If you forget to use your app, don’t give up. Pick it back up the next day and try again.

Be kind to yourself – digital mental health apps are here to help, not make your life harder.

About Telstra Foundation

Telstra Foundation’s mission is to create a better-connected world for children and young people so they can live healthier lives online.