Virtual Hope Box

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Virtual Hope Box App Poster Image
Personalized support tool made for vets may help teens, too.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about handling stress, mental health, making wise decisions, meditation.

Ease of Play

Very easy to use. Clearly defined options. 

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Virtual Hope Box helps users access immediate reminders of hope in moments of stress. Created by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, an organization that supports the use of tech for "psychological health and traumatic brain injury recovery in the military," users can upload personally meaningful photos, videos, songs, and quotes. They can also choose puzzles, relaxation exercises and guided meditations, and "coping tools" (self-created cards, activity planning alarms, and a phone contact list) in the app to consolidate many resources in one app. Note: Apps designed for mental health purposes are best used in conjunction with a mental health professional (when warranted) and aren't a substitute for professional treatment. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

To use VIRTUAL HOPE BOX, accept the terms of use and add media that "reminds you of the positive things in life." Tap Remind Me, then grant permissions for the app to access your photos and music, then upload. Tap Distract Me to choose sudoku or photo puzzles, word searches, or mahjong solitaire. To see inspirational quotes, tap Inspire Me. Tap Relax Me for breathing, relaxation, or guided meditation exercises.To create your own "coping cards" (identify problems and corresponding emotions/symptoms and add coping mechanisms) or set a healthy/social activity alarm, tap Coping Tools. Tap on the phone icon to add support contacts from your contact list. 

Is it any good?

The support customization options make this an excellent choice for teens suffering from stress and anxiety. There are so many ways to tailor Virtual Hope Box to a user's personal preferences.Teens can select images, songs, videos, and quotes to give them hope. If they can connect, they can include people who are important to them, or they can just include things that bring happiness. Having meaningful resources at your fingertips can be incredibly valuable in a moment of doubt or fear. The options to play games, use built-in relaxation exercises (including guided meditation), and create "coping cards" make Virtual Hope Box a standout app resource for in-the-moment relief. If used consistently, it could become the go-to coping resource for teens and adults suffering with stress, anxiety, and PTSD.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Virtual Hope Box can be customized to suit what helps individual users. Which tool on the app is most useful to your teen in moments of stress? Listening to self-selected songs? Looking at photos? Playing distracting games? Calling a friend?

  • Talk about the photos, videos, and songs your teen chooses to update and why. Share with them the personal and social media images that give you hope, too.

  • The organization that created this app is focused on supporting military veterans' mental health, but the reality of modern life is you don't have to be in the military to suffer from violence-related mental health issues and PTSD, and many kids experience violence-related PTSD, too. Read Common Sense Media's parent tips about How to Talk to Kids About Violence, Crime, and War.

App details

For kids who love meditation and mental health

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