Having the ability to keep things private is essential for young people who may lack space at home or don’t feel comfortable in public.
A young person who can’t get any privacy is the equivalent to you sitting in a bath or taking a shower with everyone watching. Imagine that! It would never happen. So young people’s privacy should be respected.
If you have a mental health problem your need for privacy is likely to increase. At home because you’re exploring something intensely personal and difficult, and because it’s much easier to be open with your family if you feel like they respect your need for space and privacy. From experience of living with a very nosey family, they wanted to know everything! It is very hard to hide things such as information, what you have accessed on the computer without acting suspicious, or journal/diaries from therapy.
The need also increases in public because in many settings mental health still carries a stigma. It doesn’t feel good to be fumbling around with resources or information in a public place such as on a bus, in the street or in a coffee shop.
Having an app on my phone would have solves a lot of issues around not having my parents or friends finding out what I’m looking at as a mobile phone is small and handheld and often have a facility for password locks to avoid people seeing things if you misplace or lose your phone.
Mental health phone apps can help young people by:
- Enabling them to access mental health information in discreet ways.
- Creating a private, protected place for storing mental health apps and info
- Negating the need to use a family computer