Veteran’s Affairs PTSD Coach

Jun 18, 2013

Mobile Gov Experiences are agency stories about creating anytime, anywhere, any device government services and info. This entry is a story shared by Veteran’s Affairs.

PTSD Coach is a mobile application developed by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs in order to help veterans and military service members who have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This app was released in May 2011 and is available on both iOS and Android. PTSD Coach was featured in the You’ll Have Them at Swipe: Make an Awesome Mobile User Experience webinar.

Why We Did It

We created this app in order to reach out to more people in order to improve treatment delivery and increase treatment effectiveness. The goal is to reach out to not only the veterans but their physicians and significant others.

What We Did

During the creation of PTSD Coach, we met with several different experts as well as veterans to find out what they needed and what they would be looking for in this type of tool. We ended up using the veterans as our key resource and continuously got their feedback to provide a better user experience.

How It Worked

This app provides treatment that is both anonymous and safe that is immediately accessible. It converted the tools and information from our website to mobile devices and has been downloaded about 100,000 times in 75 different countries. Other governments have inquired about modeling this app for veterans in their countries.

What We Learned

Our takeaways from the PTSD Coach app center around app design and user experience. They include:

  • favoring design over development
  • creating good app separate from academic
  • targeting specific audiences
  • using no more than 5 major functions
  • using less than 50 words in each section
  • freedom of choice
  • interactivity
  • outsourcing and consulting the target audience as much as possible


Julia Hoffman, Psy.D. | email (See Dr. Hoffman talk about creating PTSD Coach in a mobile user experience webinar)