The InHand App

Carina Fordham, Navigator at ecdp writes her review on the InHand App.

The InHand app was set up as a convenient tool for people to use anywhere, anytime, whether you have internet or not, to support someone with a mental health condition. The idea is great -an app that is easy to use and allows someone to decide how they are feeling, in that moment, and then embrace it or try to change it.

You are greeted with the question, ‘Hello, how are you feeling?’ You then chose from ‘Great’, ‘So-so’, ‘Not Good’, and ‘Awful’.

  • Great – takes you to a catalogue of pictures that are inspiring and encouraging the user to ‘keep up the good work’. 
  • So-so – takes you to a catalogue of motivating philosophical quotes such as ‘Look upon your greatness’ –Lorde. 
  • Not Good – encourages you to ‘do something that makes you smile i.e. listen to music or watch a video. 
  • Awful – allows you to call the Samaritans or someone of your choosing. 

For the app to be completely affective the user needs to set it up first. This involves adding song playlists, pictures, videos, and an optional phone number of somebody to talk to when times are difficult. Once the user has gone through this lengthy process the majority of functions work well. The ‘be creative’ section seems to make the app freeze, making the app unusable, which is very frustrating and especially unhelpful if you are already not feeling great, (which would be why you clicked into that section in the first place).

There were a few ‘teething problems’ such as certain buttons not working, the app freezing (mentioned previously), and it seemed to have trouble accessing the phones photos and videos, making adding them to the app impossible. It took almost an hour to add a song playlist due to there being no ability to filter through all the songs saved in the phone. The simpler option was to create a playlist within iTunes which I could use in a time of need, instead of the app. This took only a few minutes.

On the other hand, it was useful to have positive messages and encouraging quotes available when I felt happy or ‘so-so’. An idea for future development would be to have the option to add your own inspiring quotes or messages in this part of the app. It was good to see that the name of the app was discreet, the layout was user friendly and attractively colourful, and when you are feeling down being able to quickly call someone of your choice or the Samaritans was very helpful.

Ways forward

A suggestion for improving InHand would be to develop a facility that would allow the user to build up a relationship with the app i.e. be able to check in your mood each day, have statistics to show your progress, send messages to the user to congratulate them on their successes or see how they are if they haven’t checked in for a while.

Conclusion

In summary, the app seems too basic and passive, and therefore a questionable tool for people to turn to, if in need of help and support. Having apps to help people with a mental health problem is definitely the way forward and I hope that more organisations develop something which progresses on from the simplicity of the InHand app. The most helpful feature was simply knowing that this app was on my phone, there as a measure of support if I needed it. Therefore, there is a lot of scope for organisations to create something in the future that would be a worthwhile resource which could potentially save lives! I look forward to the prospect of testing these out.

Read more about the InHand App. 

Available to download on IOS and Android devices.

News update