THE VA MOBILE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES TEAM IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND DISSEMINATION OF EVIDENCE-INFORMED MOBILE APPS TO IMPROVE THE MENTAL HEALTH OF VETERANS AND THEIR LOVED ONES ACROSS THE U.S.   

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

  • The VA Mobile Mental Health services team manages three of the most widely used mental health apps on the app store : PTSD Coach, CBT-I Coach, and PTSD Family Coach. 

THE PROJECT

PTSD Family Coach is a self-management mobile app for family members of Veterans with PTSD.

The app has been in development for several years and is completing its final stages of VA review prior to public release in the next few weeks.  However, the app was first designed several years ago so much of its UX/UI is now dated. Partnering with General Assembly (https://generalassemb.ly)  several changes to the app were suggested such as including background images for some of the self-management tools, introduction sequences as users begin using the app, and some kinds of adaptive suggestions for which tools might be most helpful to use. This project would entail working to implement as many of these improvements as possible into the PTSD Family Coach mobile app for iOS.

We are engaged in a series of optimization studies with PTSD Family Coach including a recent trial of specific app components, a trial of a couples-based intervention, and plans to test guided training plans and social forums. Students involved in this project would be welcome to participate in ongoing research activities including research reports, papers, and future studies designed to test the improved version of the app.

Anticipated milestones would be:
•    Reviewing General Assembly UX/UI suggestions
•    Prioritizing suggestions on the basis of feasibility
•    Implementing as many suggestions as possible within the available time frame
•    Identifying new assets to be included in the app
•    Completing implementation of suggested UX/UI changes

Technical Skills

We are looking for student with experience in or willingness to learn the following:

  • iOS development

  • Graphic Design