Addressing anxiety with an app

While we feel alone in our worries and hardships, often we truly are not.

With the COVID-19 pandemic raging globally, many are dealing with the day in, day out anxiety of possibly succumbing to the coronavirus or watching as loved ones do and are left to sort those feelings out by themselves.

As a way to help squash these uncertainties, provide knowledge about anxiety related to COVID-19 and help people realize they are not alone, experts at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have worked in collaboration with the chatbot developer Wysa to create a new, free “Covid Anxiety” smartphone app.

Longer-term, this tool and others like it may help extend mental health services to places and populations that currently have low access, such as rural communities that lack practicing child psychiatrists and low-income populations living in states with weak mental health coverage.

“In dealing with our current uncertainties, it is important for us to remember that while we cannot predict the future, we can generate positive feelings about the possibilities. In these times, we need to remember our past successes and preemptively address stress. We must focus on what we can control. This, along with mindfulness, can be immensely helpful in dealing with uncertainty. The app can help users do all of these things, and realize that we will persevere.”

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