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Launch of SHARA – Self Help Anxiety Reduction App



Our Adult Mental Health and Disability Directorate are delighted to launch a new self-help anxiety reduction app, named SHARA, as a tool to help people suffering from anxiety.

Speaking at the launch of SHARA Dr Lisa Brady, Consultant Psychiatrist at the Western Trust said: “We are very excited to launch and promote the benefits of this new self-help anxiety reduction app in our healthcare facilities across the Western Trust area over the coming weeks.

“SHARA- Self-help anxiety reduction app is aimed at reducing mild anxiety in the comfort of your own home. It describes what anxiety is, the different types of anxiety and helps you to recognise the symptoms of anxiety. It will also advise you on how and when to take your medication, provides a list of distraction techniques, useful resources and also consists of suggested activities to help lessen your anxiety.

This app is unique in that it has been designed not just by mental health professionals but with input from other healthcare professions, service users and student nurses from the Ulster University. The aim of this app is to provide an excellent resource for people to manage their anxiety and empower them to develop their mental health resilience as they continue to face challenges in the future.”


Jennifer Sharkey, Community Psychiatric Nurse at the Western Trust explains: “This is a person centred and individualised app, it is free and it is accessible to all. It has been designed by a multidisciplinary team within the Western Trust including Nurses, Doctors, Pharmacists and an Occupational Therapist. Service users, families and student nurses have also contributed to the development of SHARA. The information provided will help the user to develop their own personalised tool kit of methods to help them manage their mild anxiety. It focuses on early access to self-help resources to help prevent your symptoms from deteriorating, however, if you have any concerns or feel worse there will be information available on how to access mental health services in your local area at any time either during the day or out of hours.

Laura Mc Laughlin Mental Health Liaison Service Manager continued: “The feedback from service users and student nurses from Ulster University have been very positive including:-

SHARA Front CoverService users:
  • Not too complicated or difficult
  • New way of helping to deal with anxiety
  • Interesting and informative
  • Eye catching with colours
  • All information covered
  • Easily followed
Student Nurses:
  • It’s great; I think it will be really beneficial to someone, even for structuring and order to your day.
  • I thought it was very helpful this app. Compared to other ones that I have seen there were very boring, but yours is great and it is very educational as well.
  • I find it to be easy and accessible, it is educational like the user will know to go there.

Jennifer concluded: “We are very grateful for the comments received so far and we will continue to collate comments from service users using a QR Code which will help to develop the contents of the app in the future.”

Download SHARA today