A new digital tool is being used by medical professionals in certain boroughs of London in order to help those dealing with mental health issues keep track of their moods and improve their therapy sessions in the process.
Buddy is a kind of digital tool and SMS service, which asks patients with mental health issues how they’re doing every day in an attempt to log their mood and make them think more consciously about their own personal wellbeing.
The concept behind Buddy is very much like a standard mood diary, but it’s much easier to use and keep up with on a daily basis. According to The Guardian, a patient receives two text messages, one asking “How are you feeling?” and the other asking “What have you been doing?” every day at 5pm. They will then reply to the texts as best they can and the information is sent automatically to a private online account. The day before their next therapy session they’re then prompted to look back through their week in order to get a better understanding of their moods over the past seven days.
Sarah, who has been using the app for a number of months, said:
“Buddy helped me communicate better with my therapist, and it helped me to spot patterns and see what I was doing or not doing,
“Buddy really felt like a friend checking up on me at the end of the day. Sometimes it was the only contact I would have throughout the day. It’s something that helped point me in the direction of change, and which I then felt better able to act on.”
The tool has been trialled in four London boroughs over the past year and is now being rolled out even further afield to certain patients that qualify for trials.
According to The Guardian, a recent evaluation of the tool by researchers lat year discovered that out of those who used Buddy there was a 40% increase in satisfaction with their therapy and 30% reported improvements in overall wellbeing.
[Via The Guardian]