There are many sites available on the internet, such as Facebook, apps, and forums that offer a space for people to access support. Advantages of online services include that they are readily available if you have an internet connection, they are anonymous and they are generally free.
However, many of these sites are not moderated, so there is the potential for people to use them in ways that are not helpful or may be distressing for others. There is no accountability for the site owner, and sometimes questionable content is posted.
If you plan to use these sites, we recommend using a pseudonym (false name) and checking the online spaces for a while, before participating or giving any personal information.
There are a number of useful apps available, some of which are listed below. Some are free and others offer some free content, or allow you to try before you buy.
Smiling Mind: This free guided meditation app will help put a smile on your mind, anytime, anywhere and every day.
Reachout: offers a ‘toolbox’ of free helpful apps.
BeyondNow: This is a suicide safety planning app (plus online resources) that can help you get through tough times.
Note: BeyondNow is designed to be used as part of your overall mental wellbeing and safety strategy. It is not intended to be your only form of support. Ideally you should work with a health professional or support person to create your plan.
In Hand: This app takes you through different activities in times of stress or low mood. It aims to focus on where you’re at, and bring back the balance. You can find it via Apple Store or Google Play.
Note: This app was developed in the UK. The emergency contact numbers are for the UK but the content can be accessed from Australia.
Calm: This is a simple mindfulness app that is intended to bring clarity and peace of mind into your life. You can find it via the Apple Store or Google Play.
Note: This app is free, but if you want lots of extras you’ll need to pay a yearly subscription. However, there are several free sessions available, so you can give it a try and then pay only if you choose to.
Breathe2Relax: This app is centred on the basic concept that breathing into the belly (diaphragmatic breathing) provides deeper relaxation than simply breathing into the chest. Designed mainly for use by individuals with PTSD and traumatic brain injury, the app helps with mood stabilisation, anger control, and anxiety management. It’s a portable stress management tool with breathing exercises that have been shown to decrease the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ stress response.
Lifeline offers a number of free self-help tools, a coping kit, and fact sheets on its website.
LifeSIGNS Self-Injury Guidance & Network Support (UK) is a small user-led charity creating understanding about self-injury. Their mission is to guide people who injure themselves towards new ways of coping, when they are ready.
Get Self Help offers self-help and therapy resources, including worksheets and information sheets, and self-help mp3s downloads.
Many people have found a Distress Tolerance Box, Emergency or Soothe Box, or Coping Kit helpful for managing distress. There are many examples on the net. The get self help website offers a number of ideas. Remember this is your box, and needs to include items that are relevant for you.