VA adds new 'coach' to mobile app lineup

The COVID Coach app promotes self-care and overall mental health for everyone during the coronavirus pandemic.

Veterans, service members, government employees and the general public can now get some app-based attitude adjustment, thanks to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Based on the VA’s experience with other app-based mental health support, the COVID Coach app promotes self-care and overall mental health for everyone during the coronavirus pandemic.

The app connects users to resources to help them cope with stress, stay healthy and connected and navigate parenting, caregiving and working at home while social distancing.

COVID Coach was created by VA's National Center for PTSD, which has developed a number of “coach” apps, including those to help veterans and their families with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, prolonged exposure, concussions and insomnia.  Like the other VA apps, COVID Coach can be used as a stand-alone education and self-care tool or as a supplement to professional mental health care. It allows users to track their mental health over time, set reminders and work toward goals.

Several of the questionnaires used in COVID Coach, including the PTSD Checklist (PCL-5), are reliable and valid self-report measures used across VA and the Department of Defense, VA  officials said, but they are not intended to replace professional evaluation.

The VA also announced that now all veterans can access their health care data online from iOS and android devices as well as through web applications.

iBlueButton and MyLinks apps give veterans the ability to securely access, manage and interact with their health information. With the iBlueButton app, veterans can generate an organized medical history from both the VA and Medicare. MyLinks enables patients and caregivers to view and share aggregated health records, manage multiple family records and store and share other important documents and images.

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