Recently, the Department of Defense released an app called LifeArmor. This app was created for military families to provide them with the resources to develop coping skills and help them handle mental health issues. LifeArmor has content taken from the website, AfterDeployment, which was created by the Department of Defense. AfterDeployment was launched in 2008 and developed psychologists known as T2 at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord. According to Dr. Robert Ciulla, one of the T2 psychologists involved, the app was developed because of many requests:
Since our website was launched, we had many requests for a mobile app. The success of our website naturally led us to this app which makes sense for a very mobile military population. Although the public can benefit from these applications, we had the needs of the military community in mind when developing this app.
The app addresses 17 topics and uses assessments and videos with personal stories and interactive exercises to help its users work through their problems. Some of the topics incorporated are depression, family and friendships, post-traumatic stress, spirituality, and work adjustment.
The assessments are brief, but allow users to track their symptoms and feelings that have to do with the topic they were learning about in the app. There are quite a few videos from military community members concerning their struggles and how they overcame them. The app is supposed to help members of the military and their family cope and heal, and potentially bring certain issues to light that need to be resolved. However, it shouldn’t replace meeting with an actual therapist.
I really like the idea of this app. My father-in-law works with members of the military as a life consultant and I’m curious if he has recommended this to any of his patient. I know that being in military, either as a family member or in active duty, has the potential for a lot of emotional stress, and that there needs to be more resources available for these people. I think that for those struggling with certain issues that may stem from being involved in the military could greatly benefit from this app, especially because it seems like it aims to help them know that they aren’t alone.
Although I don’t have much use for this app, as neither my husband or me is in the military, I decided to download it. It is very well-organized, and the videos are very good quality. I would definitely recommend it to anyone. A full list of the topics addressed can be found in this article. Here are a few screen shots from the app: