I’ve spent years working in mental health, alongside thousands of young adults from across the country, all with different stories, and all striving to make access to mental health resources more easily available.
A lot has been written recently about the negative impact of technology on mental health. However, technology also has the potential to help improve mental health in a scalable way. That’s why I’ve been excited by myala, a new self-tracking app for the mind that fosters human connection. myala is developed by Flourish Labs, a purpose-driven tech startup whose mission is flourishing minds for all – starting with college students. At Active Minds we’re excited to be the co-design partner to ensure that students are involved in the design process of the app from day one.
myala helps you understand the ups and downs of your mind, using technology that you likely have with you at all times: a smartphone and a wearable device. myala empowers you with your own data and helps you gain more emotional self-awareness through regular check-ins on your feelings, your mood, and other factors such as motivation, mental focus, and social interactions.
In addition to self-tracking, a future version of myala will foster support from others, to empower support networks to show up for one another in meaningful ways, when they need it most.
Strong connection is a key component of mental wellbeing, but it can sometimes be difficult to find the words or to reach out when we need it most. myala will help to remove that hurdle by facilitating connection at exactly the right moment through a feature that proactively engages our support networks when we’re struggling.
When you sign up, myala will encourage you to regularly check in with your feelings, mood, and other factors, such as sleep, motivation, mental focus, and social interactions. You can view data in easy-to-understand reports, charting how the factors affect your mental health and wellbeing. If you have a wearable device (like a Fitbit) and choose to connect it to myala, your reports will also show their sleep, activity, and heart rate data.
This is the first mental wellbeing app that I have actively engaged with, and among other benefits, I’ve found the process of responding to the questions themselves to be an unexpectedly helpful twice-daily, thirty second thought journey. Every day, I’m checking-in on how rested I feel, how much my heart is racing, and how much I feel accepted by others. It reminds me to be intentional about my well-being in a way that’s natural to my daily routine.
I’m thankful for the community of mental health advocates working with us every day to change the conversation around mental health. We’ve already made so many strides, and I’m excited to see where we’ll go in the future.
Learn more about myala and sign up here.