New App Helps Teens Cope With Anxiety

One in eight teenagers is affected by an anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Help is available through medications, therapies — and, now, a new app created by two health-focused non-profit organizations in Canada. 

The free Mindshift app includes articles, questionnaires, and a symptom-tracking system. Its primary goal is to teach teens and young adults a variety of positive ways to combat their everyday anxieties, panic, conflicts, and worry. Teens can input their symptoms and the app creates a plan to help them reduce the stress. It’s like having a personal coach help them face challenging situations so they can make an important shift, dealing with the anxiety rather than trying to suppress or avoid it.

The app guides you as you “check yourself” to determine your anxiety level with a list of symptoms: racing heart, tightness in the chest, stomachaches, headaches, and other common indicators of anxiety. Mindshift then offers appropriate steps from simple relaxation methods to more helpful ways of thinking — identifying active actions teens can take, as well as providing specific tools that help people deal with social anxiety, performance anxiety, perfectionism, worry, panic, and conflict.

The app is a collaboration between Anxiety BC, a non-profit organization devoted to increasing public awareness and access to resources for anxiety disorders, and the BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, an agency of the Canadian Provincial Health Services Authority.