15 apps from the Department of Veterans Affairs

By Aditi Pai
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Launch Pad 01Chicago-based Prevail Health has received a 12-month contract from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help ensure that veterans are given access to mental healthcare services.

The partnership, beginning this month, will help make sure Prevail Health's Vets Prevail program reaches thousands of veterans. The program, developed with technology backed by the National Science Foundation, combines web-based peer support with self-help therapy and offers veterans access to new mental health resources remotely. This platform was part of a pilot program supported by Goldman Sachs Gives, the Robin Hood Foundation, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation for the past two years.

The program will be available for free on the web into 2014, according to the company.

The VA has been producing mobile health apps for iPads and iPhones since for many years now, many of which have had a mental health focus. A year after the VA first started launching apps, they announced a pilot for family caregivers to receive iPads loaded with apps created by the VA to test before they create a special app store for veterans.

While the app store hasn't launched yet, the pilot has -- with 10 different apps. The VA has also added some apps to the Apple App store that aren't being tested in the pilot and partnered with a few mobile health companies to develop apps. We've rounded up a series of apps, all created by the VA within the last few years.

PTSD Coach

PTSD Coach

In early 2011, the VA launched an informational app to help veterans learn about PTSD. Now offered as part of the 10 apps included on the VA's pre-loaded iPad, PTSD coach offers a self-assessment tool, information about PTSD, a portal to connect with others and tools that help veterans manage their PTSD. Some PTSD management tools include relaxation skills, positive thinking, anger management and other self-help strategies.