Smartphones and devices provide a unique opportunity to make mental health knowledge and support widely accessible, especially among young people. One way to establish the quality of mental health apps is to use an evaluation tool; however, currently widely available tools are either developed by experts or are based on popularity or user rankings. 

In 2019, researchers from BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia set out to develop an app rating platform to help youth navigate the vast landscape of available apps. Focus groups were conducted with a total of 47 participants aged 15-24. The results of this study provides a basis of criteria that young people use when they select mental health applications and the relative importance of these criteria.

Conclusions from this study identified specific criteria young people had for app evaluation models. This will help with future development of an app evaluation tool on the website that is based on users’ values and priorities.

The following infographic shows the top 10 priorities for young people when using a mobile mental health app.