I recently read about a brand new app called PTSD Coach and even downloaded it for myself. While PTSD Coach is offered (for free!) from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, I can see it being helpful for anyone dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), including survivors of sexual assault.
As the app notes, it is not meant to replace professional care, so if you think you are dealing with PTSD, I encourage you to seek help. I do like that you can use the app any time that you have your phone with you (which if you’re me, it might as well be attached to you). That flexibility ensures that anyone who uses it isn’t limited to an appointment time.
The app allows any user to learn about PTSD and professional care, take an assessment, track history, manage symptoms, and find support. I like that the support tab allows for the user to find support at any time (it explains to call 911 or the Veterans Crisis Line), list their own support network, or how to find professional care. For any individual out there, if you think that you are dealing with PTSD, you can try checking out the Helpguide’s page on PTSD, call the PTSD Information Hotline (1-802-296-6300), and if it is related to sexual assault try looking into RAINN (the Rape and Incest National Network).
I think the app is a good move into the right direction. While I am deeply hurt that anyone is dealing with PTSD, with about five million Americans dealing with it each year, I’m glad that there are more avenues through which people can get help. Through my work (as well as with friends who are dealing with PTSD), I’ve seen how difficult it can be for some people to reach out and get help. Also, some people may have a much longer wait than others to get connected with counseling (a good friend of mine had to wait four months), so having an app that could help is extremely promising. The VA’s page on PTSD Coach also mentions that an app aimed at helping family members of someone dealing with PTSD is in the works.
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