Black Dog Snapshot is a free mobile phone app that supports mental health screening, monitoring and help-seeking.
According to Professor Helen Christensen, Snapshot is a simple, anonymous and effective way to highlight possible problems, empower people to make positive change and support people to seek help if and when required.
“We currently have two big challenges in Australia. The first is ensuring that everyone who needs quality mental health support has access to it. The second is supporting the huge number of Australians who are experiencing poor mental health yet are not comfortable seeking face-to-face help.”
“Snapshot program has been developed using a combination of mental health expertise, Australia population data and supportive messaging to provide good quality clinical information in a trustworthy yet anonymous environment.”
Snapshot consists of four key steps. Firstly, a screening tool allows individuals to assess general happiness, mood and anxiety, as well as monitor levels of work stress, sleep, social support and alcohol intake. Users are then provided with tailored feedback that highlights areas that can be improved.
This feedback includes direction on how and where to seek further face to face, telephone or online help as required. Finally, results are saved and graphed over time so that users can monitor their behaviours and mental health status over time.
Snapshot is one of the first tools delivered by the world-first Black Dog Institute research program called the Digital Dog.
“The Digital Dog program has been established to translate everything we know about mental health into usable, engaging and accessible digital programs that will complement and integrate with existing face-to-face care,” says Prof Christensen.
“Research has clearly shown that technology-based solutions work. With government and community support, programs like Snapshot can help to make us all mentally healthy.”