Everybody loves a bargain, and, in honor of World Mental Health Day October 10, What’sMyM3, a highly rated mental health app, is cutting its price by a third to the bargain basement cost of $0.99.
If you check out the app on the iPhone you’ll find the description currently includes this little ad-let:
“October is Mental Health Month. To support this world wide effort M3 has reduced the price of this game changing app to review your mental health. “You know your other important health numbers – your cholesterol levels, your heart rate and blood pressure. Now for the first time, we finally have a number that gauges mental health. By knowing your M3 score and then getting the right treatment, you should have more success managing all your numbers, because mental health affects everything.”
Larry Culpepper, M.D. Family Medicine, Boston University”
Available at the iTunes store (click here) and on Google Play (here), What’sMyM3 screens for four mental disorders–bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety, with a 27-question survey. A staggering one in five Americans suffers from one or more of these illnesses.
I quote from my post on “Assessing Depression Via App” to review the app:
“If you’re used to apps that import feeds and create graphics, this app–like all the depression screening apps–seems pretty bare bones, but a study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers conclude that the 3-minute, 27-item questionnaire that makes up My Mood Monitor (the M3) is an effective screening tool for the four psychiatric illnesses.
The checklist was developed by M-3 Information of Bethesda, MD, and is available free online at http://www.whatsmym3.com, if you’re not about to go the app-route.
The main article assessing the validity of the tool has the rather burdensome name of “Feasibility and Diagnostic Validity of the M-3 Checlist: A Brief, Self-Rated Screen for Depression, Bipolar, Anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders in Primary Care,” and you should feel free to read it at your non-depressed leisure–it’s available from the app itself, as well–but to cut to the chase the article concludes,
“M-3 demonstrates utility as a valid, efficient, and feasible tool for screening multiple common psychiatric illnesses. . . Its diagnostic accuracy equals that of currently used single-disorder screens. . . . The M-3 potentially can reduce missed psychiatric diagnoses and facilitate proper treatment of identified cases.”
It’s probably about as good as you’re going to get in one of these quickie checklists, which is pretty much what all the depression rating apps are going to utilize.
[At the time of the post, there was a premium edition of the app, which cost $2.99 and which saved your scores so you could monitor your progress over time, a useful diagnostic resource. This appears to now be available via the $0.99 version if you click the link to hook up with the Whats my m3? website, so you're really getting more bang for your buck.]
The questions or statements are fairly standard (“I feel sad, down in the dumps, or unhappy,” “I feel tired; have no energy”) and you pick from ‘Not at all,’ ‘Rarely,’ ‘Sometimes,’ ‘Often’ or ‘Most of the time.’
At the end you get you score on a scale of 0 to 108, along with the information that ‘Scores of 33 or greater mean that you life may be impacted by a mood disorder,’ and you get a breakdown of the four disorders the app assesses for–depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar–and how likely it is that you’re suffering from any of them.
Then you get some ‘Helpful Links:’ to the “What my M3?” site, to the home pages of the National Institute of Mental Health and Mayo Clinic, to the ‘Live Your Life Well’ page of Mental Health America, and a link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. [Yes, I've provided you with all of the links right here, and saved your thumbs some work on the iPhone, should you get that far.]
My final verdict: it isn’t bad. It’s got a proven screen and some helpful links. And saving your scores over time is helpful, indicating trends in mood.”
And, honestly, what can you get for $0.99 these days?
Certainly not a window into your mental health, that’s for certain.