MindShift is a CBT based app for learning anxiety coping strategies. 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:
- learning anxiety coping strategies
- providing a toolkit of coping strategies to refer to
- discussing anxiety and how it works.
MindShift is an app that uses CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) based guidance and evaluation to help young people learn and practice anxiety coping skills. You can add in pre-selected situations that may cause you anxiety and then use the tools given to help deal with anxiety.
The app provides a variety of methods for young people to respond to anxiety including; developing their knowledge of anxiety and symptoms, engaging in relaxation tasks, evaluating their level of anxiety in particular situations, developing realistic thinking patterns and changing behaviour. Young people can also tag their favourite approaches for easy access later.
Note: The helplines provided for additional support are based in Canada. Make sure young people are aware of this, and know about the Australian phone and online support services.
Where to access this tool
This app is free to use and can be downloaded on both Apple devices (iOS 6 or later) and Android devices.
Our young people rated the app ★★★★☆
Our professionals rated the app ★★★★☆
This application was rated using the Mobile Application Ratings Scale (MARS).
When to use MindShift
MindShift can be helpful for young people experiencing general stress, exam or performance anxiety of a low level, perfectionism etc. An advantage of MindShift is that it provides multiple strategies that may suit different clients - such as physical activities, challenging negative thoughts, psycho-education and receiving positive affirmations.
Most of the information in the app is written, therefore it would be more appropriate for young people who have moderate literacy skills.
What young people thought of MindShift
- I really like how extensive and helpful the information is, coming from a reliable source.
- Very customisable to your own issues, allows you to think of your own ways to cope with anxiety.
- It’s easy to find everything.
- It’s not something that I would remember to use when needed.
Professionals’ advice on using MindShift in practice
The tips for overcoming anxiety-provoking situations are great but the app can be a bit overwhelming with the amount of information it offers.
Do an assessment of your client's comprehension understanding before offering this app to help them. It is very "wordy" and relies on the young person to have an excellent grasp of English.
Use as an adjunct to CBT not as a substitute for individual therapy. Check the CBT approach works for your client, and be aware they may need more of an introduction before they can easily set sail and use this app.
Tips for introducing the app:
- Suggest the app as a toolkit of different responses to anxiety that may be useful to them, and acknowledge that there is no one size fits all approach.
- Invite the young person to work through a test situation in session to see how app works.
- Check the young person can understand what they are reading and are willing to try the activities.
- Ask your client to choose a real and recent experience and encourage them to undertake both the cognitive and behavioural exercises, as an extension of in-session work.
- Clarify that emergency numbers are not Australian and are not relevant to them, and check they are aware of Australian services.
- Let them know they can set a password for the app, so that their information remains private.
- Remind them to seek help from a mental health professional if the strategies are not helping them manage their anxiety.
Advice from young people
- I would definitely recommend this app to rely upon during tougher times and if not, just to briefly skim and learn from.
- Use this app in a group or class activity, and discuss coping techniques etc.
- These tips and information may also help a friend that may be going through a tougher time.
This tool was reviewed by Kassandra (22), Katie (20) and Tahlia (15), young people from the ReachOut.com community. Professional advice was provided by Leanne Peros (Youth worker), Kathryn Elkins (Mental health educator) and Jasmine King (Social worker).
- Try the program first before trying it with your clients. Make sure it is loaded on your phone for ‘show and tell’ purposes.
- Recommend the app as a toolkit of anxiety coping strategies.
- Check the app is appropriate for the young person’s literacy levels.
- Make sure the young person is aware of Australian phone and internet support services.
- Encourage them to share and discuss their experiences with peers on the ReachOut Forums.