COVID Coach is designed to help users improve their self-care and overall mental health during the ongoing global pandemic. COVID Coach offers customized tools to cope with stress, stay healthy and safe, cultivate connection, and negotiate the challenges of social distancing, quarantining, care-giving, parenting, and working from home. The app offers education around coping skills, tools for self-care and improving one’s emotional well-being, as well as tools to track mental health and personal goals.
Compatibility: IOS and Android
Target Audience: The COVID Coach app was created for everyone, including Veterans and Service members.
Bottom Line: COVID Coach offers many tools to assist with mental health and well-being during the global pandemic. Users can demystify self-care by using the various app tools and setting practical, attainable goals.
Features and Options:
Developed by the National Center for PTSD within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, COVID Coach is an application for civilians, veterans, and service members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. NOTE: COVID Coach is not intended to replace needed professional care related to COVID-19 or mental health conditions, such as PTSD.
COVID Coach is designed with user well-being in mind. The app is full of soothing images and soft colors and the home screen rotates a number of motivational quotes for the benefit of users. Users can also personalize their experience when they select soothing pictures, songs, or support contacts. COVID Coach is a free and secure app with many features designed to help users manage stress during these unprecedented and uncertain times. No account or password is required for the app and user data is not collected.
In the Manage Stress section of the app, users will find tools and activities that help in coping with stress, loneliness, or hopelessness; creating safe and warm spaces; handling anger; working through relationship challenges; and combating sleep struggles. Users can try new activities with each use, opt for a different tool if they don’t like one they’ve tried, or create a list of favorites.
The Mood Check tools can be used to set goals and track well-being, anxiety, mood, or symptoms of PTSD. The trackers each ask a series of expertly designed questions that are used to measure mood. Each daily check is then added to a chart for users to see the ups and downs of their moods. They can then use the Manage Stress tools to address their mood changes as needed.
The Learn section of the app has options for learning how to stay well, safe, and healthy; find mental and emotional balance; and address challenges in parenting and care-giving. The Find Resources section has information listed for finding crisis support, substance abuse support, local COVID information, veteran and service member support, and much more.
Users can also export data for future reference, reset tool preferences, or delete all data at any time.
Given that COVID-19 has been ubiquitous in its impact on everyone, everywhere, COVID Coach is a specific and versatile option for nearly all health and mental health practitioners. While timely in its specific application, the app can be utilized as a package or its individual components can be used as stand-alone supports beyond the pandemic for specific client needs. These include managing stress, monitoring and managing affective states, and learning about potential resources for a number of common health and mental health challenges.
The app has been developed under the auspices of the National Center for PTSD so practitioners can be confident that the practices and recommendations are rooted in evidence-based practice. COVID Coach offers a number of options to deal with stress and promote resilience and well-being in users.
The app could be used by practitioners to help clients track moods between sessions. Or, practitioners could utilize the app as a routine primary prevention resource for all of their current clients, regardless of specific presenting problems, or as an adjunct to specific problem areas and more conventional interventions.