As rates of depression rise with the COVID-19 pandemic, with some studies suggesting rates have tripled in people in the United States since April, there’s an urgent need to offer effective treatment options for depression that are available on a larger scale, especially as racial injustices and physically distancing from the current pandemic make access to treatment even more difficult.
The idea of having mental health tools at people’s fingertips via smartphones isn’t new, yet understanding what works in effectively treating depression in a completely remote environment is an unknown frontier for researchers and clinicians.
A team at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is starting new research to understand whether a mobile well-being app, the Healthy Minds Program, can improve depression for people living with the condition. The study is in partnership with Healthy Minds Innovations, the external affiliated nonprofit associated with the Center for Healthy Minds, that has created the program. The project is made possible from a generous grant from Hope for Depression Research Foundation.