Parent App of the Week: HeadGear – The App To Toughen Your Nut
What It’s About
HeadGear is an Australian-designed app that anyone living in these fast-paced times could do with! It aims to increase the mental fitness of users, and help them cope more effectively with stress.
It’s part of a research study aimed at reducing mental health conditions in male-dominated workplaces, and has been developed by UNSW’s workplace mental health team, Sydney University’s Positive Computing Lab, and The Black Dog Institute. It’s also in partnership with beyondblue, and funded by the Movember Foundation, so there’s some serious know-how behind it.
The Good Bits
The app has a clear, simple and light-hearted feel to it. It has a straightforward homepage that displays five icons, and from there you can delve deeper to find fascinating gems about mental fitness.
Everything has been kept bite-sized, so as not to be overwhelming, and to ensure it can easily be accommodated into everyone’s day. Some of the tools include:
Quote of the day: a little snippet of inspiration to kick-start your day.
Tools of the week, including:
Dump It – where you write down in the app the main thing that’s worrying you, then choose to ‘store it’ to think about later (so it doesn’t worry you all day) or choose to ‘dump it’ completely.
Recalibrate – we know our body and mind feed off each other, and this exercise releases stress, allowing you to refocus and reset your mind and body, all by just moving your finger around a circle in time with your breathing! You’ll know you’re doing it right if you can keep the circle green instead of turning it red.
Help A Mate – a 5-step walk through to having the right conversation when you think a friend may be in need.
A quick and simple daily recordkeeping of how you are feeling, so you can look back over time and see if any patterns emerge or identify any high-stress times. You can also make more than one entry per day, which gives you a more in-depth understanding of how your mood changes.
The Not So Good Bits
There’s really nothing to complain about – it really is a win/win situation.
The app gives uncomplicated but practical strategies to improve your daily life, and – should you opt-in to help them out by completing a short, confidential survey and supplying your mobile phone number – the researchers gather information that can be used to further our understanding of mental fitness and the everyday experiences of Australians.
What it Teaches
Participants learn skills and strategies to help them cope more effectively with stress, and may increase their overall mental fitness and general wellbeing.
You can find out your ‘risk score’ for mental health issues by taking the 30 Day Challenge, which consists of quick quizzes, exercises, tests, and videos. Based on your responses to the quizzes, you’ll be advised about your likelihood of suffering from certain mental health issues, and given strategies to help avoid them.
HeadGear is available for both Apple and Android devices.
Most Suitable Age Range:
Ages 12 and above
How much: Free