Opportunities to Integrate Mobile App-Based Interventions Into Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services in the Wake of COVID-19

Am J Health Promot. 2021 Nov;35(8):1178-1183. doi: 10.1177/08901171211055314. Epub 2021 Oct 15.


The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened concerns about the impact of depression, anxiety, alcohol, and drug use on public health. Mobile apps to address these problems were increasingly popular even before the pandemic, and may help reach people who otherwise have limited treatment access. In this review, we describe pandemic-related substance use and mental health problems, the growing evidence for mobile app efficacy, how health systems can integrate apps into patient care, and future research directions. If equity in access and effective implementation can be addressed, mobile apps are likely to play an important role in mental health and substance use disorder treatment.

Keywords: COVID-19; alcohol; anxiety; mindfulness; mobile app; sleep.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / therapy