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New app helps commuters with anxiety use the subway

Woman in Subway Platform


Sophia Swinford - published on 08/02/17

For those with anxiety and phobias, public transportation can be a real challenge.

Public transportation can be incredibly convenient, especially in a big city like London, but for those with an anxiety disorder, public transportation can be more of a challenge than anything. According to Anxiety UK, “more than 1 in 10 people are likely to have a disabling anxiety disorder at some stage in their life” and “an estimated 13 percent of the adult population will develop a specific kind of anxiety known as a phobia at some point in their life.”

Man with Sunglasses

Read more:
25 Helpful tips for overcoming anxiety

That’s why a new map of the London Underground has been launched to help those with anxiety disorders avoid long stretches underground. Approximately 55 percent of the system is actually above ground, so this app can help those with anxiety find a route that avoids tunnels and stays above ground as much as possible.

“I sincerely hope that the map will encourage those with claustrophobia and/or panic attacks who have previously avoided this form of public transport out of fear to reconsider their use of the Tube,” said Nick Lidbetter, chief executive of Anxiety UK.

As awareness around mental health issues increases, the popularity of using apps for mental health is also increasing. Last year, Feerless — an internet extension that can be personalized to alert PTSD-sufferers to triggering content coming up — was released. Apps like Colorfy and Worry Box provide an on-the-go outlet for stress and anxiety.


Read more:
How to overcome the shame of having a phobia

In the United States, approximately 18 percent of the adult population suffers from an anxiety disorder, according to NAMI. This new map is exactly the kind of collaboration we need to improve the lives of people who live with mental illness.

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