People with anxiety and depression now have their own social network

Dec 19, 2015 at 10:34 a.m. ET
Image: Eugenio Marongiu/Cultura/Getty Images

A new social network has been created to help those who suffer from anxiety and depression in an attempt to “crowdsource wellbeing.”

More: Mental health care via your smartphone may not be the answer

Hey, if everything else is being crowdsourced why not mental health?

Panoply and its sister app Koko — described as a social network that calms your mind — were devised by MIT graduate Robert Morris as part of his dissertation and are designed for those who suffer from anxiety and depression.

Users post messages explaining what is getting them down (adding the worst case scenario) and others provide suggestions for more productive ways to deal with the problem.

By providing advice, comfort and support to those in need, the app is designed to provide an online alternative to traditional cognitive behavioural therapy.

If a user feels unsure about how to get started the app provides sample suggestions for them. There's also the option to post concerns anonymously, for those who are ashamed or embarrassed to share their feelings.

More: How to spot the signs of depression

Koko social network for anxiety and depression
Image: itunes.apple.com

The website isn't yet open to the public but the Koko app is now available to download for free and it may be a good alternative for those who can't afford professional help, or aren't quite ready to ask for it.

What do you think of Koko? Would you feel more comfortable using an app than seeing a therapist? Let us know in the comments below.

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