Mental Health Apps
As we better understand the prevalence of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, many people turn to their phones to help aid in their mental health. Our phones contain apps that help us with everything from shopping to entertainment, so why shouldn’t they help with our mental well-being?

Mental health apps have become so advanced and popular that they are even being recommended by therapists and other clinicians for use by their patients. The apps can be used by people who don’t have the time, money, or inclination to participate in in-person treatment, or as a useful tool to be used between therapist visits. Some of the most popular mental health apps include:
For a weekly fee, Talkspace allows users to connect virtually with a licensed therapist. Users can contact the therapists through video sessions, chat, or via text messaging. A free consultation is provided with a “matching agent” that helps find the appropriate therapist for the user.
Another online counseling app, BetterHelp connects users with licensed therapists for a monthly fee. Therapy services are provided through web-based interaction as well as phone and text messaging.
7 Cups
7 Cups is an app that connects people with free, confidential, and anonymous chats text chats with “trained listeners,” therapists, and counselors. The app is free and provides on demand, 24/7 assistance.
Through the use of research-backed activities and games, the Happify app claims to help users overcome stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts. Using techniques based on cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology, and mindfulness, the app attempts to help user break free from unhealthy patterns and move forward.
Headspace is an app that assists users with mindfulness and meditation. Individuals can use the guided meditation app for a few minutes a day get access to meditations meant to relieve stress and anxiety or to help with sleep and focus.
Named by Apple as the 2017 App of the Year, Calm offers people experiencing stress and anxiety, guided meditations, calming music, sleep stories, and breathing programs.
What’s Up
What’s Up is a free app that provides users with tools to cope with depression, anxiety, anger, and stress. The app also allows users to connect with others via discussion forums.
Elizabeth Kelley
Criminal Defense Attorney
Elizabeth Kelley is a criminal defense lawyer with a nationwide practice specializing in representing people with mental disabilities. She is the co-chair of The Arc's National Center for Criminal Justice and Disability, has served three terms on the board of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and serves on the Editorial Board of the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section Magazine.  Learn more .
NPO Media Podcast Episode 13-Elizabeth Kelley

Listen to this interview produced by members of NAMI Staten Island -Elizabeth discusses the challenges facing people with mental disabilities in the criminal justice system.
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Families' Guide to Working with a Criminal Defense Lawyer

When your family member with a mental disability has been arrested or charged with a crime, it can be a confusing and challenging experience that leaves you unsure of where to turn for answers. Here are some key things families can do to help the defense attorney handling their case.
Representing People with Mental Disabilities
Representing People with Mental Disabilities: A Criminal Defense Lawyer's Best Practices Manual , edited by Elizabeth Kelley is available for purchase from The American Bar Association. It contains chapters devoted to a variety of issues confronted by people with mental disabilities in the criminal justice system such as Competency, Sanity, Malingering, Neuroscience, Jail and Prison Conditions, Working with Experts,and Risk Assessment. Chapters are written by academics, mental health experts, and criminal defense lawyers. In the Introduction, Elizabeth writes that "This is the resource I wish I had had many years ago."