Definition: The Technology Related Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 described an assistive technology device as "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities."
Assistive technologies can be both "high tech" and "low tech," ranging from canes and lever doorknobs to voice recognition software and augmentative communication devices (speech generating devices). According to the Georgia Tech Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (formerly known as AMAC Accessibility), use of assistive technology "is an emerging mental health treatment field which in many cases improves the accessibility, effectiveness and affordability of mental health care."
For more information about assistive technology, please see this copy of AMAC's 2015 presentation titled "Every Moment Counts: Using Assistive Technology to promote positive changes with mental health challenges in the classroom".
Breathe2Relax (iOS and Android)
This application provides information about the effects of stress on the body and teaches users how to engage in diaphragmatic breathing exercises, essentially serving as a portable stress management tool.
DBSA Wellness Tracker (iOS, Android, and web)
This application allows users to track their physical and mental health trends. Additionally, users can access personalized content, such as a daily journal, personal wellness tips, and custom wellness plans, and favorite audio and video files by creating a personal account.
MindShift CBT - Anxiety Canada (iOS and Android)
This application allows users to engage in forms of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), one of the most effective treatment methods for those who suffer from social anxiety disorder. Additionally, users have access to several other amenities, such as a thought journal, coping cards, and healthy habits, as well as the ability to make check-in updates and set personal goals.
MoodTrack Social Diary (iOS and Android)
This application allows users to document moods as often as they please, as well as join support groups and chat anonymously with other users.
Sanvello: Stress and Anxiety (iOS, Android, and web)
This application provides users with tools used by psychologists to cope with and combat anxiety, stress, and depression, including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness meditation, relaxation, and mood/health tracking. It also allows for peer support through chats and the ability to help users find a local therapist.
Self Help for Anxiety Management (SAM) (iOS and Android)
This application helps users understand and manage their anxiety in a variety of media formats/self-help exercises. It also allows for users to create their own personalized toolkit with tools that work for them.
Stop, Breathe, Think (iOS and Android)
This application recommends exercises of meditation and mindfulness after users check in with their current emotions and thoughts.
What's Up? - A Mental Health App (iOS)
This application allows users to engage in forms of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), one of the most effective treatment methods for those who suffer from social anxiety disorder.
Acupressure: Heal Yourself (iOS and Android)
Headspace (iOS and Android)
This application teaches users how to perform meditation and mindfulness exercises to lessen anxiety, improve focus, and sleep better.
Relax & Rest Guided Meditations App (iOS and Android)
This application provides users with three guided meditations of varying lengths, as well as an option to include music tracks and/or nature sounds that are embedded in the application.
Worry Watch (iOS)
This application acts as a journal for users to document and keep track of their thought trends. It primarily helps users undergo processes of recording, reflecting, reasoning, realizing, and refuting.