In Hand is an app in which gives simple things to do when you’re feeling low. Learn more about the program, and get information on when it is appropriate to use it, find out what young people thought of it, and read professional advice and young people’s tips for using it in practice.
This tool will assist with:
- strategies for distraction or getting out of a low mood
- providing a database of positive media to look back to when feeling low
- recording and processing feelings.
About In Hand
In Hand is an emotion regulation tool that gives young people things to do when they are not feeling great.
When you open the app, you are asked how you are feeling and are given four options: Great, So-So, Not Good, or Awful. The Great and So-So options prompt you to browse inspirational messages and pictures, which you can share on Facebook or Twitter. The Not Good option gives you four things you can do to make you smile: be creative (take a photo), view some of your photos, watch one of your videos, or listen to music. The Awful option suggests writing it down or talking to someone, either a contact that you add or the Samaritans (UK support service).
Note: Recommend that young people add the number for an Australian based phone service such as Lifeline, eheadspace or Kids Helpline as an alternative to the Samaritans.
Where to access this tool
This app is free to download and use on Apple devices (iOS 6 or later) and Android devices.
Our young people rated the app 3.5/5
Our professionals rated the app 3.5/5
This application was rated using the Mobile Application Ratings Scale (MARS).
When to use In Hand
The app would have benefit for young people who often find themselves experiencing low moods and who don’t know how to get out of it. Recommend In Hand to young people who are wanting different ways to manage their low mood, who have experiences of feeling down at times, but who are not depressed.
What young people thought of In Hand
- The brightness of it and how it’s easy to use.
- It allows you to use your own pictures.
- No sign up required.
- It’s straightforward and easy to use.
- It’s good that you can include relevant phone numbers.
- Some more content would be nice in some of the categories - for instance, a meditation audio.
- I would have liked for there to have been some pictures, music etc already on the app.
- The only contact they have is for the Samaritans in the UK.
- The app kept crashing.
Professionals’ advice on using In Hand in practice
Use it with young people who are experiencing low mood only, it is not suited to anyone experiencing more severe symptoms.
This app provides very little introductory information and is quite simple at first glance. Take time to make sure they understand how it works, and that it is a place for them to find or put things to do when they are feeling down - like photos of things that make them happy, or music that makes them feel better.
It's important to let the young person know that data is not recorded so they know whatever they write down is private for their eyes only.
Offer young people some phone numbers for Australian services that can offer support to them when they are feeling awful, and tell them not to call the Samaritans as it is a UK number.
It's worth a go. I think it would suit young people well, as one method to regulate dysfunctional emotions/moods.
Tips for introducing the app:
- Encourage them to add to the Not Good section all the videos, photos and music that put them in a good mood.
- Encourage them to write down what they are feeling when they choose Awful and to record how often they feel this way and what seems to trigger their mood/feelings (outside the app if they want to keep track).
- Ask them to add the phone number of someone they are comfortable talking to under the ‘Awful’ section, and/or an Australian phone support service.
Advice from young people
Make sure young people know how to use it appropriately.
It's good for everyday use for young people to acknowledge how they're feeling and have a few things they could do to deal with the mood. However it would be important to ensure they're getting help if the issues become worse or anxiety/depression symptoms appear.
This tool was reviewed by Megan (24) and Sam (22), young people from the ReachOut.com community. Professional advice was provided by Leanne Peros (Youth worker) and Dianne Vella-Brodrick (Psychologist).
- Try the program first before trying it with your clients, so you can explain it.
- Make sure the app is loaded on your phone for ‘show and tell’ purposes.
- Encourage young people experiencing low mood to use it as a repository of cheering media, or a place to process what they are feeling.
- Use alongside other apps such as Smiling Mind meditation or the Juice activity tracker.