There’s 15 million people living in the UK with chronic health conditions and nearly 30% of people also develop mental health problems.
Smile App,The UK’s very first mental health app for those with long-term physical health conditions, has just launched and is now on hand to provide expert-led practical support and daily tools to support the emotional rollercoaster of living with chronic conditions. Designed to support a range of conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, asthma and long covid, the app is now available on Android and IoS, with the aim to support patients and carers who are struggling with the stress, overwhelm or ongoing worry of a difficult diagnosis.
Founder, Emma Amoscato, was inspired after her experience of anxiety and PTSD that developed from her own family’s health challenges. After training in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health at Kings’ College London, Emma wanted to support others going through similar situations with the creation of Smile, which incorporates video and audio tracks from a range of clinical experts, live workshops, reflection tools to support people’s wellbeing and even content from people with lived experience of different conditions.
It also uses mood tracking and daily check-ins to help to understand users’ unique needs and create a personalised toolkit of content, all tailored to the challenges people in this community are facing. The app uses a five-pronged therapeutic approach, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, Self Compassion, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Emotional Regulation tools, so users can find what works for them to tackle mental health challenges.
“We hope to support as many people as possible living with chronic physical health conditions. We cover the topics that other mental health apps don’t. When going through my own challenges of health problems within my family and the anxiety it brought, I couldn’t find anything that really tackled the specific situations we were facing – things like coming to terms with a diagnosis, dealing with waiting times or managing the emotional rollercoaster of chronic health conditions,” says Bedfordshire-based Emma Amoscato, founder and CEO.
Dr Sula Windgassesn, one of the five health psychologists that provides expert advice for Smile users says: “Having a chronic health condition can be really isolating, uncertain and scary. Smile puts together evidence based information and strategies to help support all the difficulties.”
One user, Helen Eugene, who is living with endometriosis, early menopause and fibromyalgia says: “ If I had this in the early days of my challenges, I don’t think my dark days would have been so dark.”
About Smile App
Smile app is a new mental health tool for those living with chronic conditions. The app is free to download on iOS and Android, with all elements available on the free version, and the opportunity to upgrade for premium workshops and content cost £6.99 per month. Smile was founded by Emma Amoscato and has received grant and business support from King’s College London, Innovate UK and UnLtd. For more information https://wearesmileapp.com/ or visit: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/smile-mental-health/id1670080347 to download on the app store.
Physical and mental health stats
*Chronic physical health conditions represent 70% health and social care spend in England and £1 in £8 spent is due to poor mental health (NHS, 2019). The NHS predicts incorporating mental health care into the treatment of physical health conditions will save £1,700 per patient per year.
*Mental health problems increase hospital admissions by 2.8 times and double the use of outpatient services (NHS, 2015)