Today, I am excited to share details about a new app, Mental Snapp, which has just officially launched. The app is designed to give people a new way to manage their mental health. It’s founders, Hannah Chamberlain and Tex Dunstan, are good friends of mine, and I’ve been privileged to witness its development over the past couple of years. Attending the launch event in London, I caught up with users and Hannah to find out more about the impact its making on managing mental health.
Private video diaries
Mental Snapp is a mental health diary service, providing users with the tools to quickly and easily create private video diaries. Using the record function, you simply tell your story, rate your mood, name your feelings and the subject areas you are recording on, e.g. stress, sleep, etc. All of these steps have a beneficial effect to help people process their emotions and prompts for what to record on next based on the tags you attach to your recordings. The prompts, known as Bright Ideas on the app, ask you questions around a specific subject which helps direct you to think of solutions rather than just go around in circles with your thoughts.
Shown to make you feel kinder to yourself
Mental Snapp has been in beta testing for the last year, and users have consistently commented that they feel kinder to themselves as a result of using the app. One user, Michael Brown, who has bipolar disorder and is an author and mental health activist said a few words on the night about why he believes the app is useful for everyone. Watch the short video below:
Finding compassion for myself
Prior to trying the app, I was sceptical about whether a video diary would work for me. I’m someone who enjoys writing about my feelings and emotions (see morning pages blog here), but I found it to be incredibly powerful. I chatted away to myself about what was on my mind; and then watched it back. I saw a range of emotions in my face, and instantly feel real compassion for myself, rather than my usual approach of feeling like I’m falling short.
Hannah Chamberlain’s inspiration
When discussing her inspiration for the app, Hannah Chamberlain (pictured below), said; “I came up for the idea for Mental Snapp having told my own mental health story on film and helped other people to tell theirs. I’ve been managing my own condition and making films on mental health for 20 years and have seen how telling your own story on film really makes a difference to people. Mental Snapp is a way to make the therapeutic benefits of journaling, rating mood and naming your feelings accessible – the camera on your phone can be the therapist in your pocket.”
Easy Jet’s founder invests in Mental Snapp
The business has attracted considerable attention during its beta phase, with funding from BGV Ventures, and in November 2017 Hannah was awarded The Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs, a prize £30,000, presented by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
Government sees vital role technology has to play in managing mental health
The Office for Disability Issues (DWP) are also fans of the service, commenting; “We welcome Mental Snapp as an innovative idea to help people manage their mental health. People living with mental health and other long-term health conditions have barriers to overcoming living independently. The Government has set out a commitment to see one million more disabled people in work by 2027 and technology has an important part to play in helping us achieve this goal. Mental Snapp is an exciting example of how technology can help promote methods of recovery that help people to live more fulfilling lives.”
Independent study says app increases your confidence
London Southbank University carried out an independent, exploratory study, which showed that using Mental Snapp, over a period of just two weeks, has a significant impact on confidence.
Use the app rather than just the video function on your phone
Mental Snapp is ingenious in its simplicity, but don’t be fooled into thinking you can achieve the same results by just recording videos with your standard camera phone. It’s the extra functionality of being able to pick a subject area, rate your mood and feelings, plus the Bright Ideas prompts that makes it such a transformative experience. I encourage you to give it a try and share your experiences.
Try it for yourself
Mental Snapp is free to download and can be used with limited storage for free. To unlock unlimited storage and extra features, users can subscribe for £4.49 per month.