In today’s fast-paced world, mental health has become a critical concern. Rising awareness, openness, and acceptance in discussing mental wellness demands effective systems that can support mental well-being. Be it educational institutions, communities, or workplaces, establishing a robust mental health management system has become the need of the hour. A mental health practice management system can strengthen the global mental health scenario and efficiently address the impact of mental health crises.

Let’s first discuss what this software is and how it can help individuals cope with their mental health trauma.

1. What is Mental Health Software?

The conversation around mental health has picked up fast in recent years. In this section, we talk about the way a software platform could address challenges in mental health and help both doctors and patients deliver and receive mental health care, respectively.

A mental health management system is an application used by mental health providers and related staff to manage the mental behavior and health of their patients, provide support through easy access to behavioral health care, or even for general mental health management. The development of mental health management solutions requires a different approach, as the needs and realities of mobile apps for mental health are unique.

Back then, a significant portion of people who needed emotional support and mental health assistance refused to seek help. It was so because the conservation around mental health wasn’t acceptable. But in recent times, a dedicated push by activists and leading celebrities has done a great deal to make it alright to talk about one’s emotional struggles.

The discussion around one’s mental wellness is uprooting. Today, movies and TV shows have begun deliberately portraying it in a positive light. It is safe to say that the stigma around mental health has faded away.

What is Mental Health Software?

Even though more people than ever before are aware of the importance of psychological wellbeing, it took a global pandemic for healthcare IT to catch up with it. The Covid-19 pandemic forced everybody indoors, and many people lost their jobs and livelihoods. It ended up exacerbating people’s psychological issues. However, an upside was that health tech was fast to cover mental health, and before long, numerous therapists had adopted telehealth-based platforms to help people cope.   

Telehealth solutions have helped reduce the inequity surrounding mental healthcare. People no longer needed to travel to see a shrink, and they could connect with one right from their homes. The comfort and privacy of one’s home act as a catalyst to help people open up more.   

With many positives to discuss, let’s check out the benefits of mental health software development.

2. Challenges in Mental Health Care Delivery

Challenges in Mental Health Care Delivery

Stigma and discrimination: Social stigma and discrimination have always prevented individuals from seeking help from care providers. Strict interventions are required to reduce this issue.

Access Barriers: Limited access to mental health services and infrastructure affects mental health care delivery. Especially people living in rural or underserved areas face such challenges.

Fragmented Care: Fragmented care is a situation when different healthcare providers and/or organizations do not collaborate well to deliver the desired care service. This lack of collaboration occurs because of improper data management, stemming from unequal access to resources, mismatched funding, laws and regulations, and training.

Workforce Shortages: Shortages of skilled mental health professionals, including therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, contribute to long wait times, limited access to care and timely intervention.

Data Privacy: While technology can enhance mental health care delivery, data privacy can be a challenging concern. With robust security measures like encryption, access controls, audit trails, and compliance with industry security standards, this issue can be efficiently handled.

3. Benefits of a Mental Health Management System

There are a number of advantages waiting around the corner for mental health experts who adopt a platform for their practice. This part talks about the ways in which a digital solution for mental health management would help providers deliver better care and minimize overhead.

A mental health management system or platform helps the relevant doctors manage their practice better. A platform like this helps streamline workflows and improve the efficiency of day-to-day administrative tasks. Here are some more obvious benefits of a platform that manages mental health:

1. Lower Time & Costs

Lower Time & Costs

Applications for mental health management streamline workflows by providing digitized solutions. It removes the conventional way of doing things by pen and paper, reducing the staffing requirements for practices and hospitals. The software allows patients to book appointments online and reschedule them according to their convenience, even during the middle of the night.

A staff member no longer needs to be on the phone to receive calls from patients, write things down, or organize them. The doctors can view the schedule on their devices and run things without hassles. As a result, organizations save time and money in managing things.

2. Care Coordination

Care Coordination

Mental health EHR systems can enhance collaboration among different healthcare providers. It allows patients to easily access and modify their online records after visiting any healthcare provider. This provides access to updated reports of their current health issues, ensuring enhanced care coordination for better treatments.

3. Greater Transparency

 Greater Transparency

A digital platform for mental health management acts as a central repository for patients’ health data. A mental health EMR integrated with other healthcare systems allows doctors to pull up patient details while conducting a virtual consultation, deliver therapy, and make relevant updates to a patient’s medical history. The patients can view their medical history on the behavioral health management platform and participate better in their care journey. This feature offers transparency and, in turn, increases accountability for doctors.

4. Prompt Response to Emergencies

Superior Response to Emergencies

Since a mental health management system helps organize patient data in a single accessible place, it better equips healthcare providers to respond to emergencies. Some examples of such eventualities include psychotic breakdowns, epilepsy episodes, fits, seizures, and other mental health emergencies. When doctors can access such a patient’s health data, they will be better positioned to respond to such an incident and implement treatments.  

In addition to being better equipped to handle emergencies, a centralized repository of patient data also enables healthcare analytics solutions and medical informatics systems to assess health information and discern early warning signs of impending disease. Such an approach is proactive rather than reactive, and it helps identify patients with higher risk and implement interventional measures before any emergency.       

5. Enhanced Clinical Efficiency

 Greater Clinical Efficiency

Whether it’s a large hospital with many services or a small practice with a few physicians, a digital platform is known to improve the efficiency of day-to-day non-medical activities. Automating mental health management can streamline activities like patient scheduling, medical coding, insurance verification, medical claims submission, etc. Moreover, these workflows can be handled with a few clicks on the platform.  

The best part? A digital interface that automates many activities and minimizes human error, improving productivity. To sum it up, faster workflows, reduced errors, and fewer staffing requirements directly translate into greater efficiency.

4. Top Features to Include in Your Mental Health System

With the increasing convergence of digital systems and healthcare, it might have gotten difficult for providers to know what to look for in a mental health application. This section lists some of the most important features that define a great platform.

Many healthcare entities have already adopted a huge number of mental health solutions. If you’re a mental health professional looking for a platform, it might overwhelm you since many options exist. To help you overcome this dilemma, we have mentioned a few major features that you should check for in the solution you choose:

A. Appointment Reminders

Appointment Reminders

Missed appointments are one of the biggest reasons for worsening mental health among people suffering from chronic illness. One missed consultation could mean psychological triggers remain unaddressed for patients struggling with mental health problems, resulting in potential nervous breakdowns.

A mental health management system with automated appointment reminders would notify patients when their appointment is approaching. Such notifications are usually in the form of alarms, messages, and even automated calls in some cases. This will ensure that all consultations are adhered to.

Appointment scheduling allows the patients to choose the timings as per their convenience. A mental health management system with an appointment booking feature allows people to book consultations with a few clicks, even in the middle of the night. What’s more, it also allows them to reschedule it if they think they won’t make it the first time. This takes all the hassles out of appointment booking.

B. Claims Management


Submitting claims is an elaborate and tedious procedure that involves multiple steps. It is an error-prone process by nature, and its mistakes often result in delayed reimbursements. Worst case scenario, the provider might not get paid at all. A feature that streamlines the claims management procedure goes a long way in helping providers improve their revenues.  

A mental health management system with a claims management feature would digitize the workflows. This results in healthcare automation and activities being done with a few clicks. As a result, there are fewer errors, and the claims submission gets done faster.

C. Tailored Treatment Plans To Suit Each Patient

Tailored Treatment Plans To Suit Each Patient

A feature to help therapists curate unique treatment plans to suit individual patient needs is extremely coveted in mental healthcare management systems. Such a function helps doctors track their patients’ progress and make changes as they see fit.   

Each patient is benefited from a well-planned, uniquely structured approach to their treatment. Since each patent’s needs are bound to be different, an individualized approach to treatment is known to produce better results than a generalized one. The result is a better patient experience coupled with superior clinical outcomes.    

D. Electronic Medical Records

Electronic Medical Records

Digital EMR systems integrated within a solution to manage mental health practices is a win-win for the doctors and the patients. It allows doctors to pull up patient health information during a therapy session, which would help them make informed treatment decisions. This feature is especially helpful in the case of remote, virtual consultations. When a doctor sees a patient through virtual means, it is enormously beneficial to have their medical records with a few clicks.  

Easy access to patient information during a virtual consultation improves care delivery. Moreover, since the doctor can make necessary updates to patients’ records, it keeps their health data abreast of new developments. Doing so in real-time during or immediately after an online consultation pays off in the long run.

E. E-Prescriptions


Electronic prescriptions or e-prescriptions within a solution for healthcare management simplify the workflows around medical prescriptions. Doctors can send each patient’s prescription to the pharmacy directly and avoid the hassles related to the legibility of handwritten notes. It makes it easier for pharmacy staff to hand out medications without ambiguity and speeds up workflows at pharmacies. The fear of losing a prescription or filling out an incorrect dosage is efficiently addressed with an e-prescription feature, eliminating any chances of medication fraud.

F. Initial Assessment

Initial Assessment

These are usually in the form of detailed or short questionnaires that need to be filled up before the consultation begins. An initial assessment helps doctors learn something about their patients before the session begins in a mental health application.   

This function could save time for both doctors and patients with just a few minutes to answer some questions. It helps doctors get an understanding of the patients and so can set the tone for further interactions.   

G. Medical Billing

Medical Billing

Medical billing is a complicated procedure with numerous formalities. A mental health management solution that features a function for billing makes a huge difference for healthcare providers. Such a feature automates many mundane tasks such as medical coding, medical claims submission, verification, and so forth.   

The workflows associated with billing tend to be error-prone by nature. If a mental health solution can digitize them, then a few staff can complete the tasks digitally and have the solution verify them. This minimizes mistakes, which in turn avoids delays or rejections in reimbursements. As a result, a medical billing feature within a mental health administration platform also helps improve revenue cycles for providers since they reduce staffing needs and help avoid mistakes.   

H. Insurance Verification

Insurance Verification

This is an indispensable part of the healthcare process. Whether the organization is a large hospital, a smaller ambulatory care center, or even a single-physician practice, verifying patients’ insurance shows what their health plan covers. A doctor can make an informed decision based on this data. 

A function to verify insurance incorporated within a mental health management solution streamlines many processes involved in verification through automation. This directly translates into shorter waiting times for patients, resulting in a better patient experience. Since the process is digitized, it’s not prone to mistakes, which means it’s a win-win for both providers and patients.     

I. Digital Diary

Digital Diary

This feature of a mental health app allows patients to document their everyday experiences (as a part of their treatment plan) in a digital format for quick accessibility. This advanced medical mobile app development feature uses a health information management system to offer digital patient documentation records. Another significant feature of this form of healthcare app development services could involve voice recognition technology. The mental health app will allow patients to record daily voice notes into their digital diary for the doctor’s reference.     

J. Advanced Practice Management Solutions

 Advanced Practice Management Solutions

This feature within a mental health app involves the placement of agile staff and employee management. The operational procedures of the mental healthcare organization are automated, facilitating various employee solutions, such as job allocation, paperless systems, etc. Additionally, mental health systems can be powered with HMIS—health management information systems—to offer intelligent analysis of patient data.

K. Self-monitoring Techniques

Self-monitoring Techniques

A mental health management system can be enabled with techniques for patients to monitor their symptoms and receive automated suggestions for self-help. This encourages patient empowerment with safe suggestions to manage their conditions during the interval between sessions. Another part of these mental health systems is connecting monitoring techniques with wearable devices to set off emergency alarms, monitor routine behavior, and mental health fitness suggestions.

L. Emergency Support

Emergency Support

Emergency support is one of the crucial features to have in a behavioral health practice management systems. In urgent situations, it can connect patients with immediate help.

The software can be customized to ensure access to instant medical services within a few clicks or just by sending an alert notification to the nearest healthcare provider.

5. Latest Trends in Mental Health Software

a. Integration with Wearable Devices

Integration with Wearable Devices

This feature allows the integration of wearable devices, enabling real-time monitoring of challenging patients who can be dangerous to themselves and others. A wearable device can track physiological markers like heart rate, sleep patterns, activity levels, etc., and can send emergency alarms. Consider a situation where the patient is having a panic attack. The notification of changing heart rhythm is sent to the doctors, ensuring immediate action to calm the patient.

b. Voice Recognition

Voice Recognition

Including voice recognition features in the software for mental health allows patients to make notes of their feelings. Many a time, patients with mental issues aren’t in the state to jot down their feelings. This feature allows them to speak out their emotions during or after a specific situation while making a note for their psychiatrist. It becomes a future reference for the care provider that can be helpful in the upcoming consultation.

c. Handwriting Recognition

Handwriting Recognition

This is another advanced feature that can be included in the mental health EMR software. Every emotionally traumatized patient is different; some wish to speak about their situation, while others can choose to write (or their treatment plan might require them to maintain a diary). Hence, during their high time, they might not be able to maintain readable handwriting, which can become a barrier in their future consultation sessions. Here, a handwriting recognition feature will play a vital role in recognizing their handwriting, allowing caregivers to make an informed decision.

d. Employee Management

Employee Management

Mental healthcare scheduling software might be tailored with staff management features. This feature streamlines staff allocation, ensuring efficient resource utilization and optimal coverage. It allows administrators to track employee availability, assign tasks, and manage shifts seamlessly, reducing scheduling conflicts.

e. Self-Monitoring


Behavioral health management systems may have self-monitoring functions. Such features allow patients to choose their health symptoms from the provided checklist, allowing initial assessments. They help them get a preliminary diagnosis and safe suggestions from the experts, preventing misguidance. This feature suggests what to do before they visit the doctor

6. Teletherapy Vs. Traditional Therapy

The pandemic pushed many people to try out telemedicine, and unsurprisingly, both providers and patients have come to acknowledge the benefits of virtual consultations. In light of this, we weigh the benefits of in-person therapy with that of remote teletherapy and help you get a complete picture.

One of the miracles of telehealth is the ability to access medical help from any location, even if you’re travelling. This has shown enormous potential for reducing the inequity in healthcare as not all communities enjoy equal access to quality care. This inequity is perhaps most pressing in the area of mental health. The ratio of people to mental health experts is poor in the United States, and it means that people often have to endure long waiting times to get an appointment and drive long distances for it. Not surprisingly, many people don’t bother with the hassle and ignore the issues they struggle to cope with.   

The United States is in the midst of an unspoken behavioural health crisis. The number of people addicted to alcohol and narcotics has reached record levels. In light of this, it has become extremely important to increase access to mental health for people all across the country. Telehealth has proven to be able to accomplish this feat. A mental health management application with a virtual therapy option would easily connect patients with psychologists from across the United States. This would drastically reduce waiting times, eliminate the need for people to travel, ensure that people in distant, rural communities can access competent therapy whenever they need it.    

i. Limitations of traditional therapy:

Limitations of traditional therapy

While the conventional means of psychotherapy help people deal with their issues, it is unequal by its very nature. It’s easier to find mental health experts in urban locations, but not in small towns and rural places. As a result, these communities are grossly underserved and struggle to find help. People from such places almost always have to wait weeks, if not months, for a consultation and travel to the therapists’ location. For people who can’t drive or travel to different cities and states, seeking mental help becomes next to impossible.   

ii. Teletherapy’s elegant solution:

Teletherapy's elegant solution

The challenges in the traditional form of therapy can be addressed with telehealth solutions within mental health management systems. With telehealth, patients can have a virtual consultation with their therapists using nothing more than a smartphone and an internet connection. Psychotherapy over a video call can be had within the comfort and privacy of one’s home or a hotel room.    

The best part about a remote video consultation is the benefit of care from any location, and patients no longer need to travel to a therapist’s office. Moreover, it is known that people generally don’t feel comfortable talking about deeply personal issues with therapists, and this is one of the biggest hurdles to addressing mental health challenges.     

With remote therapy, people are significantly more likely to seek professional consultation. The privacy that one’s own home offers creates a more conducive environment for people to open up about mental health issues. This has proven to be a hidden benefit of teletherapy which was unforeseen even by experts. The beauty of remote video consultations is that people can get help even from thousands of miles away without needing to travel to the therapist’s office. This translates into shorter waiting times, greater access to professional help, and reduced inequity.

7. Mental Health Systems – FAQs

A digital solution to manage mental health is a novel idea. It’s natural to have questions about this technology, especially if you’re a provider. In this section, we address some of the most common questions about mental health management systems.

What are the primary considerations before building a health information management system? The first order of business is to identify the specific gap or advantage that the mental health app intends to fulfil. Keeping a close eye on the end-users needs and opinions will eventually determine the success of the medical mobile app development.    

Here we have provided a list of questions and answers that can help you invest in the right software solutions.

A. Should I opt for customizations?

Should I opt for customizations?

Even though ready-made solutions may look like the easy choice, they will usually fall short of fulfilling the specific need of the healthcare organization in question. Customized mental health solutions for providers hold the possibility of offering need-specific features and can be tailor-made to fit the user’s preference.    

B. Do I need to consider cross-device connectivity?

Do I need to consider cross-device connectivity?

Opting for cross-device connectivity is always a better option since it allows usability and accessibility on mobile phones, desktops, laptops, etc. Healthcare organizations and patients can use the app with a fair amount of ease. Finally, allowing patients to access the app on wearable devices and mobile phones will allow them to use the system flexibly and holistically.    

C. Are our cloud-based apps better than server-based solutions?

Are our cloud-based apps better than server-based solutions?

Even though most modern solutions are cloud-based, this question is relative to users’ needs. If the requirement is basic, then a server-based solution may suffice to fulfil the requirement. However, a cloud-based solution is preferable if the development requirement is for integrated solutions.    

D. What is the security requirement in a mental health app?

What is the security requirement in a mental health app?

A mental health solutions developer must take the development process with its due responsibilities. Data protection has essential security requirements, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for information sharing and electronic data exchange. Apart from this, developers must consider General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for EU-based users. For apps that deal with financial areas of mental health, developers can refer to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for a checklist on payment rules.    

8. Best Practices for Developing Mental Health Systems

The trend of using mental health platforms to manage practices is steadily picking up. With the rapid adoption of a new piece of healthcare tech, it’s natural for companies in this sector to offer varying solutions. However, even as companies continue to get creative, there are a few practices that are agreed upon to be fair and ideal when it comes to mental health app development.

While there are numerous kinds of mental health systems made by many companies, a few ways of doing things are generally accepted as best practices. Let’s have a look at some of them –    

I. Comprehensive Security

Comprehensive Security

The security of a mental health system is paramount. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulation mandates a minimum level of security for organizations that handle patient data. If there is a loss or breach of data, and the company developing the solution violates HIPAA regulation, it may result in harsh penalties and even jail time.    

Patients’ mental health information contains vital clues like the history of substance abuse, depression, neurosis, etc. This information enables psychiatrists to modify their approach to treating each patient. But if the information is lost or compromised in any way, it takes a toll on the treatment, which in turn affects the patients’ mental health. So, a mental health management system must have comprehensive security to protect patient history.   

II. User-Friendly Interface

User-Friendly Interface

Health applications are bound to be used by people from all walks of life, and this means that not everyone would be technically savvy to explore the functionalities of a complicated app. For this reason, all kinds of health applications or platforms must feature a user-friendly interface, and mental health systems are no exception.   

The different functionalities for managing mental health must not be difficult for users to navigate. To achieve this, development companies must invest extensive resources into testing and determining user experience with the application. This procedure alone could take months, but it is worth the time and resources. A well-designed application with a difficult interface would invariably lose its user base.   

III. Interoperability


This is yet another important feature that is coveted amongst providers and patients. If mental health EMR can interoperate with other systems, retrieving patient data is simpler and hassle-free for doctors. Having accurate and up-to-date patient health information is vital for diagnosis and subsequent treatment.   

When mental health management solutions can interoperate, it avoids data siloes. Healthcare Interoperability is one of the best things that healthcare app development companies can do. It directly impacts patients’ health and wellbeing, giving doctors a clear picture of a person’s present condition. Without interoperability, it becomes difficult and time-consuming for healthcare providers to get their hands on patient health records, due to which patients would have to endure long waiting times. It is a rule of thumb that healthcare platforms must feature interoperability.   

IV. Platform-Agnostic


Most users would switch between a laptop, a PC, and, most of all, a smartphone. A mental health platform would benefit its users greatly if it can be compatible with all three major hardware platforms, along with Android and iOS operating systems.   

People are far more likely to book an appointment on their smartphones and then attend a virtual therapy session on their laptops, and it might change if they’re traveling. The same application that accepts appointment schedules would be used on a PC for doctors and medical staff, with online therapy sessions on another PC. In other words, the patients, clinical staff, and the doctors would likely use either Android or iOS smartphones, as well as Macs and Windows-based PCs.    

In light of the varying hardware platform and software operating systems, it makes sense for developers of mental health solutions to make the application platform agnostic. Otherwise, it creates avoidable hurdles for all stakeholders, diminishing its popularity. 

9. Steps to Develop an App for Counselling

Developing an application for psychological care is quite unlike building apps for other areas in healthcare and wellness. It’s got its own set of considerations since such solutions can have a long-term impact on a person’s life. We discuss the broad strokes of what goes into developing a mental health platform.

Although various developers offer many kinds of mental health management apps, there is a rather common underlying approach to developing the applications. It involves a few steps basic to developing mental health apps –    

Step 1: Decide Upon the Target Users

Decide Upon the Target Users

Not every mental health app can target everything. In other words, developers of counselling apps need to know who they are creating the platform for. It could be an application to help people recovering from alcohol or drug addiction, or just a platform to help people seek therapy, or even just a listing app to help people find therapists.   

Whatever the use, each type of application is bound to have its targeted base of users. It is important to identify who the app is being built for. A grief counsellor would not help someone struggling to recover from substance abuse. Similarly, an application made for one type of patient wouldn’t be of use to another.   

Step 2: Decide the Features and Create a Minimum Viable Product

Decide the Features and Create a Minimum Viable Product

Once the target users have been decided, next comes knowing what features to include. As mentioned earlier, mental health management platforms are built to serve a specific purpose. Suppose it’s a listing for searching therapists. In that case, it’s better to include a location-based search for the nearest professionals, coupled with appointment scheduling and rescheduling, not to mention easy online payment options.   

On the other hand, if the application includes teletherapy, the company developing it would also need to make it healthcare interoperability with other third-party applications for billing, insurance verification, mental health EMR, appointment scheduling, and patient engagement systems.    

After finalizing the features, it’s time to create a minimum viable product (MVP). It must be like a working prototype that will give a reliable idea about the application and highlight problems that can be fixed. It might take multiple iterations, but it’s worth the time and resources to create an MVP to give all stakeholders better clarity.   

Step 3: Interoperability


As mentioned earlier, health applications must be interoperable with multiple third-party apps, and this has become an indistinguishable part of health tech in general. A comprehensive, integrated healthcare solution streamlines workflows, minimizes errors, maximizes the staff’s productivity, and improves patients’ experience and overall clinical outcomes.   

It is always better to build a custom mental health management system that can incorporate applications for a wide range of non-medical administrative activities like coding, billing, claims submission, payment processing, patient engagement, and so forth.

Step 4: Doctor-Focused Back End for Reporting

Doctor-Focused Back End for Reporting

Medical apps have two sides to them – one for the patients and the other for the doctors. The patients can book consultations, view their health data, and make payments. On the other hand, the doctors must manage the practice and their interactions with the patients.    

For a mental health management solution, the back end of the application should be solely focused on the doctors. It must allow them to chart each patient’s treatment strategy progress and make notes based on every consultation.   

Step 5: Coding the Design

Coding the Design

After the application design has been finalized along with the features, it is time to be developing the code. The development team will decide upon the technology stack, and an appropriate deadline will be set.   

Step 6: Testing


After coding the application, it is important to test it against established parameters. If the app works as desired, it can be launched. Otherwise, the bugs must be documented, and the development team must fix them for re-testing.   

Step 7: App Launch and Ongoing Updates

App Launch and Ongoing Updates

Once the bugs are fixed and the app passes testing criteria, it is ready for release. Submit it on the app store for people to download. Use in-app analytic tools to monitor the performance, address user feedback, and fix the raised issues. Also, provide ongoing updates to ensure that the application is aligned with industry trends and standards.


The pandemic accelerated the adoption of healthcare technology amongst the common people. This shift has revealed surprising advantages when it comes to mental health. Mental health management systems have increased access to mental care and helped thousands of people cope with their struggles. As mentioned earlier, such platforms have presented a solution to address the brewing mental health crisis in the United States. Whether or not more people will seek help, it is clear that mental health applications are fast becoming the norm.    

OSP is a trusted healthcare software development company that delivers bespoke solutions as per your business needs. Connect with us to hire the best talents in the industry to build enterprise-grade software.


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