There is a dearth of published research on uptake and utility of mental health apps in India, despite a rising global trend in the application of technology in the field of mental health. We describe the development and pilot testing of a self-help intervention for depression, PUSH-D (Practice and Use Self-Help for Depression) for urban Indians. This guided self-help app, with essential and optional zone sections, was developed to provide a comprehensive coverage of therapeutic strategies drawn from cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, supportive psychotherapy, and positive psychology. Pilot testing was carried out using a single group pre-, post- and follow-up design in 78 eligible participants. Participants were typically young adults with major depression or dysthymia and significant impairment in functioning. Almost two-thirds of the participants had never sought professional mental health help. Significant reductions in depression and improvement in the functioning and well-being were notedon standardized measures in participants completing all 10 essential zone sections. These gains were maintained at follow-up. The results were similar for partial completers, who completed fiveout of the 10 essential sections. PUSH-D is one of the first indigenously developed self-help apps for depression and it shows promise in reducing the treatment gap for depression in India.
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