Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults 18 years and older are affected each year. Around the world, 322 million adults struggle with depression.
Athens County is no exception to this blight.
In a 2016 Community Needs Assessment done by OhioHealth, a major system of healthcare providers and hospitals, one of the top five prioritized needs for southeastern Ohio is help with behavioral and mental health.
Enter Hudson Health Center’s new partnership with WellTrack, an interactive self-help therapy app. WellTrack is offered free for all Ohio University students. Using the app, a student can: track their moods, learn mechanisms to manage anxiety and stress, improve depressive thoughts and behaviors, and more. All information that is entered into WellTrack is strictly confidential.
As a young adult who struggles with anxiety, I can say that OU has made a good step toward helping more students by bringing forward this app. Notifications remind you to check your mood everyday, and gives you graphs and maps of how your mood varies day to day, as well as hour to hour. This allows for deeper tracking on what causes might lie behind panic attacks or depressive moods.
So far, WellTrack has helped me realize that many of my anxious moments come early in the morning, which could point to restless sleep or a poor breakfast. My most tired moments come during the early afternoon, especially on days when I skip the gym.
In this digital age, my hope for this partnership is for it to expand through OhioHealth and have hospitals find a way to offer this statewide so more people can be helped. With Athens being the poorest county in Ohio, many cannot afford the help they need for cognitive therapy that could be a large turning point in their lives.
With this free app, students will be able to get the help they need in the office, in the classroom, anywhere, and we can use our technology-dependent society to our advantage by teach young adults to consider themselves self-sufficient and responsible for improving their lives, instead of being weighed down by Instagram models.