While any apps designed to support mental health are best used in the presence and guidance of a professional, mentors, homeroom teachers, health teachers, school counselors, and school psychologists could use Calm Harm - Manages Self Harm to supplement their work with teens. Consider walking students through the app during a health class demo to show the integration of technology with mental wellness. Post a QR code of the link to the app store on a mental health awareness bulletin board. Or use Calm Harm as a check-in for students who meet regularly with a counselor regarding self-harm practices.Continue reading Show less
Calm Harm - Manages Self Harm begins by asking teens to create a profile and set their location. Once they're ready to begin, they can select "Ride the Wave" and choose an area to focus on: Comfort, Distract, Express Yourself, Release, Random, or Breathe. Each of the six areas has different activities to help students manage the discomfort and urge to self-harm. Once they choose an area, kids can pick five- or 15-minute activities. Students tap Start to begin the countdown; after finishing the activity, they'll complete a post-activity self-monitoring sheet. This will log in to a weekly diary that shows patterns. The data log shows the feeling that occurs most before each urge and also what time of day most urges occur. Students can also send activity ideas by clicking "Suggest an Activity."
Calm Harm - Manages Self Harm is useful for teens who are looking for ways to cope with the discomfort of self-harm. It's probably best used as a therapeutic tool as opposed to a teaching tool, as most mental health tools pair best with professional guidance. Calm Harm recognizes this and provides resources and phone numbers for national phone lines after each activity. It also recommends reaching out to a professional if the urge becomes too strong for too long.
Teens might not enjoy the fact that Calm Harm requires some out-of-app effort (e.g., "write down a list of ... ") and may prefer a more instantaneous game format for some of the distraction or expressive activities. But, if teens don't love the characters, they can choose different mascots or remove the characters completely. Overall, Calm Harm has numerous ideas for distraction -- as well as for releasing and expressing emotions with more appropriate coping skills -- to make it a useful mental health tool in schools.
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