Pacifica Labs is providing free premium access to students through the month of December for their mental health app Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety.
“Especially this time of year, I know [students] are taking finals right now," said Pacifica’s Head of Marketing Ashley Toy. "People just don’t even realize how stressed out they are until they really think about it."
The National College Health Association said surveys found 44.8 percent of students to have an above-average stress level.
“Pacifica is a mobile app designed for helping people to manage stress, anxiety, and depression,” Toy said. “Over [the] last couple of years, we’ve just been continuing to add tools to the app as well as, you know, growing our user base.”
The Stress and Anxiety app was first released in 2015, and it provides users with the tools and resources needed to provide self-therapy. The app is based on the cognitive-behavioral therapy often used by therapists to find and cure mental problems.
Toy said one of Pacifica’s goals is to make mental health care more accessible to as many people as it can.
The app features tools including health and mood tracking, meditation techniques and audio lessons on how to use cognitive-behavioral therapy.
“Tracking your mood is a really great way to stay on top of [stress]," Toy said. "Comparing your mood to different health habits to kind of notice patterns, for example, if you’re maybe if you’re a bad mood more often if you’re not drinking enough water.”
Toy said the relaxation and meditation exercises are a good way to set aside time to relieve some stress a few minutes a day.
The app is free to download and use, but the premium version provides more features and is priced at $35.99 a year.
“We have I would say maybe a third of the app as free, but with a paid subscription you get more mediations and just more thought activities,” Toy said. “The app is always free but right now, for finals, we are letting people with the .edu email address have the premium version for free until the end of the year.”
Therapists can also use the app to keep track of their patient’s mental health, and the app provides access to a peer support community where users can communicate with each other through online discussion groups.
“Just taking some time for some deep breathing or even a longer mindfulness meditation is a good way for especially students to just relax in stressful time,” Toy said.