Welcome to APPetite, a student-run blog all about apps. We guest writers, Emilia and Aisha, are here to help you make the most important of life decisions: “What app should I download next for my phone/tablet?” Since we know you totally have loads of time to waste on your smartphone between school, sports and a myriad of other extra-curricular activities, be sure to check out APPetite to fulfill your hunger for your next app addiction.

    The 7 Cups of Tea logo. Source: 7 Cups of Tea website

    “7 Cups of Tea”

     Price: FREE 

     Available: App Store, Google Play

     Rank: 4.7/5

    Why you should download: “7 Cups of Tea” offers free, on-demand emotional support from an anonymous community that includes caring peers as well as expert counselors.

    Following the death by suicide of a Paly student earlier this month, the recent conversations and changes made in Palo Alto have been crucial in regards to improving the mental health of Palo Alto students. We think all students should be aware of the resources available to them, whether they are offered within school or outside of school.

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    Connect with the “7 cups of tea” community anonymously. Screenshot by Emilia Diaz.

    “7 Cups of Tea” is a positive option for a person who might be stressed out, in need of a friend or in the middle of a bad day — sometimes, one just needs time to vent. This app is a great solution.

    Best of all, it’s not time-consuming, and it’s completely free. The app is focused on a range of mental health-related issues – serious issues such as anxiety and depression to less serious issues like talking about a bad day. According to the App Store, “7 Cups of Tea” strives to create a supportive and anonymous community where people feel safe to share and vent.

    According to the 7 Cups of Tea website, the app “anonymously and securely connects” the user to a trained and active volunteer listener. The volunteers are trained in an Active Listening Course. According to the website, many listeners are licensed professional counselors and therapists but do not give medical advice during conversations. Instead they will refer the person they are listening to a local therapist, counselor or emergency contact. After signing in, members can scroll down a list of “listeners,” each with a personal profile and rating so they can choose the listener best suited for their needs.

    Another great aspect about the app is its open forum, with topics ranging from inspirational quotes to relationship advice. Within the forums, members can find additional forum “communities” to talk with other anonymous users with similar issues. The app also provides a large library of free self-help guides, such as the “anxiety guide” and the “sleeping well guide.”

    After you sign up, the app will immediately greet you with a message asking to rate how distressed you are feeling on a scale from one to 10. It will also provide a self-check list to help you diagnose your problem. Suicide hotlines and emergency hotlines are always visible and an easy click away.

    Suicide and mental health hotlines are a short click away on the “7 cups of tea” app. Screenshot by Emilia Diaz.

    This app reminds us of Yahoo Answers in a sense that one can get advice and questions answered but with more legitimate, understanding and thoughtful people who are willing to help. It is a nice “pick me up” for anyone having a bad day.

    Jamie Fanciullo, one of Paly’s school physiologist says she would love to explore 7 cups of tea further and thinks it is a interesting new application. “At first sight it looks appealing; I am intrigued,” Fanciullo says. “It seems applications like this are becoming more prominent in our community and society.” 

    We think that the app is a useful tool to improve mental health, and we encourage Palo Alto High School students to give it a try.

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