Saying When app tour



If you want to take charge of how much you drink, or when you drink, Saying When is a successful program that provides step-by-step directions that can help make you successful.

With Saying When, you can get help and keep your concerns about your drinking private. There’s no need to attend meetings or open up in front of a group. It’s a self-help approach that truly is anonymous and can positively influence your health, your job, or your relationships.

If you—or someone you care about—are having problems related to drinking, Saying When can help.


Check out our video:

The Saying When app was designed and developed by the Education department at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s leading addictions and mental health hospital. The program itself has been used with great success for over 20 years in book format, and it is now finally available in a mobile version.

Based on the research and evaluation of various treatment methods for patients with alcohol problems by former CAMH senior scientist, Dr. Martha Sanchez-Craig, Saying When is a self-help program that has a proven track record. The same tools that Dr. Sanchez-Craig used with great success to help people bring their drinking under control for over 20 years are used in this mobile version.

Find out more about the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health by visiting our website:

Introduction to the program

  • The program is introduced with tools that both educate and are easy to understand. You’ll learn what a Standard Drink is and how the Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines can help you enjoy a healthier lifestyle that can include moderate drinking.


  • Answer a few quick questions to set your baseline for success. Understanding when and why you drink will help you know when to “say when.”

Personalized goals

  • You set your own goals to fit your lifestyle. You can chose to quit drinking or cut down to moderate drinking — the choice is all yours.

Monitor your alcohol and urges to drink

  • From your personal dashboard you can track when you have a drink or an urge to drink. You can also view your daily stats, monitor your progress and see how you’ve been handling things since you started Saying When.

Interactive drink tracker

  • We’ve made tracking easy and fun by providing a wide-range of alcohol types to chose from then showing container types that most likely match the one you are currently using. Use the scroll feature to fill the glass to match your drink and you’ll know just how many Standard Drinks you are consuming before you track them. You can always review and delete and drinks in your Drinking Diary section.

Tips for Success

  • We’ll provide you with plenty of Tips for Success that will help your success in the program. They are easy to access and you can be prompted to read them from time-to-time if your tracking puts you over your personal limits.


  • The app will continually be keeping track of your progress versus the weekly limits you set for yourself. Checkups providing stats on how you have done over a 28-day period will become available to view once the period has past. You can see how your Drinking Pattern may have changed over time and how your personal drinking habits reflects against a those done in a CAMH survey.

Help is always available

  • If you are experiencing difficulties cutting down or you ever think you can’t do it alone and need more support, links to resources that can provide more help are available in the app.

What is an urge?

An urge to drink occurs when you are tempted to drink above the limits you have set for yourself.

What can I do to cope with my urges to drink?

Keep in mind that the best coping strategies are those that are simple and direct. Fill the time you would be drinking with leisure and other free-time activities. Or simply switch to non-alcoholic beverages. Ask family or friends for support.

What is a goal?

A goal is the upper limits you set for yourself as to the amount you will drink and how frequently. Setting these yourself makes them more realistic and will provide a greater sense of accomplishment. You will be setting a First goal (2-weeks long), a Long-term goal and Weekly goals for yourself in this program.

What is a standard drink?

A standard drink contains a fixed amount of alcohol. The percentage of alcohol in wines, beers, ciders and coolers varies to help you visualize a standard drink see the “What is a standard drink?” section of this app.

When will I get a checkup?

A regular checkup in the Saying When program occurs every 28 days—but you’ll always know how you are doing against your current Goal on your Tracking dashboard. The app will automatically generate the 28-day Checkups for you and you’ll be notified when they are available to view.

If I want to re-start the program how do I do that?

We realize people’s lifestyles fluctuate and you may find yourself wanting to re-start the program. We have built-in the option to Re-set Saying When so you can start fresh. You’ll be able to re-do Taking Stock and re-assess your Activators and other baseline stats. If you chose to re-set you will lose the data you have already tracked so think about it before you re-set.

41 Responses to Saying When app tour

  1. Vivien Rogers says:

    I am very interested in this new app. I live far from Toronto, in the bush, and alone. How do I go about obtaining this program? Thanks.

  2. Brad LaForme says:

    Will this app be available on different platforms, such as BlackBerry. Not everyone is an iphone fan.

    • CAMH Education says:

      The original project scope covered iOS development only. We hope that with success we will be given the opportunity to adapt for other platforms.

      If you would like to look into the program in the meantime, the Saying When book would be a good option (see ordering info in response to comment above).

  3. Greg Vowell says:

    Really like the app. I think I’ve found a bug. I’m on the 3rd week, so I set new goals. When you hit the goals and it shows each individual day with a checkmark…all the drink counts for that week are zero. I wasn’t sure where to post this. Otherwise, it’s what I’ve wanted to have to cut back.

    • CAMH Education says:

      Excellent! Pleased to hear you’re using it and it’s (for the most part) helping!
      I’ve passed along your bug alert to the team here—they appreciate your feedback.

  4. Jodi says:

    Great idea for an app. However, two LARGE concerns: 1) It costs $1.99. This should be a free app. We are talking about addiction and accessibility here. You want to encourage people to admit their addiction and even take one small app-sized step to doing something about it? Stop charging. 2) More importantly: your statement above. “There’s no need to attend meetings or open up in front of a group.” No app will replace human support in all of its forms. The 12-step approach might not be for everyone, but counselling for addiction is essential. Stating that there is no need to “open up.” You are totally off the mark.

    • CAMH Education says:

      Hi Jodi—

      We appreciate your feedback.

      Although the app can be used independently, it is a companion piece to CAMH Publication’s Saying When paperback and ebook and has been priced accordingly.

      Saying When program was developed by Dr. Martha Sanchez-Craig as an option for moderate drinkers who intend to quit or cut down their drinking. From the book description: “The program is directed at people who experience problems related to their drinking, but who do not have a severe alcohol use disorder.”

      There’s a little more info on the product description page on the CAMH Publications Store (

      You are right about human support being irreplaceable—the app is just a tool to help understand when help is needed.

  5. Janice says:

    I downloaded your app and cannot seem to get it to work

  6. annie says:

    is it possible to edit information after you have entered it? put in something on the wrong day and can’t figure out how to change it. really enjoying the app otherwise, thanks!

  7. Frustrating features says:

    I like the idea of your “saying when” app, but a few features are really frustrating to use. For instance, there’s no way to just enter more than one drink at once (e.g. if you want to enter 3 drinks after coming home from a dinner party, you have to enter them one at a time). And as one other user mentioned, it doesn’t seem possible to edit information if you enter it wrong.

    Also, for some reason the app doesn’t stick to calendar weeks. I just realized that the “week” I’m in is February 10-16 (Tuesday-Monday), even though the previous week was February 1-7 (Sunday-Saturday). So apparently there were 2 days (February 8-9) that weren’t part of a week at all. Maybe the previous week had finished and I didn’t use the app because I didn’t have a drink those days. But I’d like to have those drink-free days as part of a “week” rather than a weird Bermuda’s triangle of lost data.

    Please keep working on this app. It’s a good idea, and I can see it being helpful, but at the moment these flaws are frustrating.

    • Same issue says:

      I have the same issue. Week 3 skipped the first day, a day on which I had no drinks, and started on the next day I had a drink. So week 2 ended April 9th, and week 3 started April 11th. So my non-drinking day totals are incorrect, and week 4 will start late. Even if I go back to April 10th and add a drink to try and reset the start date for week 3, it did not work.

      • CAMH Education says:

        Thanks for the feedback. The development team is meeting shortly—your comment has been forwarded to them.
        Will let you know what they say.

  8. Pingback: Saying When | Mental Illness Mentality

  9. michael says:

    Good tracking app – I like how it hits the basics fairly well.

    Will you integrate this with HealthKit? The sooner the better…

  10. Pingback: International Beer Day: Some cold, bracing facts | CAMHblog

  11. Angela says:

    I downloaded this app and played with it last night. I like all the features such as keeping track of urges, triggers and days since (or in between for those who are drinking) I also feel being able to edit entries would be handy, rather than delete and re-enter. Also having the ability to edit the start date versus the start day being the first day u ran the app would open up your app to a whole other group of individuals who want to or have already stepped on the path to sober. Myself being one, I really want that option to edit my start date.

    • CAMH Education says:

      Hi Angela—
      Great points. I’ve had a chat with our Saying When app team and it sounds like several of these are on their list for the next big update. Thanks for your help!

  12. Josh says:

    An excellent idea for an app overall.
    There seems to be a glitch with starting it up in late December. Week 1 comes up as the first week of the new year and Week 2 shows the current date. Prompt continues to tell me to set a new goal…?

    • CAMH Education says:

      Hi Josh –
      Thanks for your feedback!

      We’ve tried over the past couple of days to replicate your experience with setting goals to try and pinpoint if the app has a bug but have been unable to. We’re hoping you can help us out by giving us some more information.

      Can you let us know if your process went something like this:
      • After completing Taking Stock you ended up in the Goals section and were prompted to set your first goal (which is a 2 week goal)
      • You selected the + icon to add a goal and chose from the 3 options on the next page (abstain, cut down gradually, abstain with exceptions)
      • Then you moved on to the next page and entered your drinking goals
      • You selected the checkmark to indicate that these are indeed the goals you wish to set
      • A congratulations message for setting this goal appeared

      So far so good?

      And this is what your Weekly Goals screen should now look like:
      • Week 2 appears at the top of the list with Week 1 below it
      • Week 1 will have the date range from the day you started until one week later
      • Week 2 will be the date range of the following week

      It sounds like what you are viewing on your Weekly Goals screen is the opposite from what I’ve described above. If that’s the case, can you please email a screen shot to our support account at and we’ll get our developers to look in to it.

      You also mentioned that you were being prompted to set another goal before this 2 week goal is complete. This may not be something you can capture in a screen shot but if you can please send one along as well. We will get more people testing it out to see if they can share your experience.

      Thank you for taking the time to let us know about the issues you’re experiencing. We appreciate the feedback as it help us make the product better.

      Good luck with your goals!

  13. sue says:

    I would like to be able to use the saying when app. but I do not have a cell phone, I have a laptop. When going to ITunes they ask for your credit card even though the app is now free. I don’t use credit cards and I can not afford the book. Could you not have a pdf file on the CAMH website which would give access to everyone. I am at a point where I want to do whatever I can to cut down on drinking but am finding it difficult for get any practical help. I am currently in concurrent disorders at Parkwood Institute.

  14. Gabby says:

    Is there a notification on the app so you can be reminded to enter your intake? Thanks 🙂

  15. Lori says:

    I installed the Saying When and am unable to advance pat the getting started section. Is there a way to reinstall the app?

  16. LeAnn says:

    I am LOVING this app. It’s exactly what I wished existed! The only improvement I can think of is to be able to enter the amount of the drink. Or, maybe some present amounts in ml/ounces (I live in U.S). I love the slider, but I’m a perfectionist & sometimes it takes forever for me to get it on the exact amount. And that’s sober, lol.

  17. Fran says:

    Great app!
    I work in a drug center in spain. Is this app available in mother languajes (spanish?).
    Thank you so much and congratulations

  18. Jim says:

    I think it’s important to get into the habit of going to th app each day and marking successful no drinking days. Rather than only going on when I’ve had a want or a drink. Is this a feature that exists? If not, it a definite feature request.

  19. Rebecca says:

    I would like the week to start on Sunday but it starts on Tuesday. Is there a way to fix that?

    • Hi Rebecca—

      That’s something we’ll add to our “suggestions for update” wish list.

      In the meantime, I sent this to our colleagues on the project, and this is what they say:
      “The app starts on the day you set your first goal on. To switch to Sundays, wait until Sunday to set your next goal (even if you have to self-monitor a few days) and Sunday should become your start date moving forward.”

      Hope this helps and thanks for the feedback!

  20. Shoshana says:

    I had previously been using. Different app to track my consumption, and I really appreciate many aspects of SayingWhen. The logical and visual structure make it much easier for me to create and stick to goals and to make changes over time. Much more motivating.

    HOWEVER, it would be super helpful if I could adjust the alcohol content (ABV) of a drink, since wines and even beers vary.

    Thank you!

    • Great to hear!
      Editable ABV would be a good addition, but may have been constrained by the budget/capabilities for the first app iteration. (Fairly certain I recall early wireframes that even included a sketch up of an adjustable drink volume, but that was a little ambitious too.)
      Will pass along your feedback to the team as the look at improvements.
      Thanks for sharing!

  21. Beth says:

    Hi there. I appreciate the app and find it helpful, but the “Checkup” buttons do not work for me. I can click on them but nothing happens. I am using the app in iOS. Is this a known glitch?

  22. Brion Kennedy says:

    Is there any way to change from metric to imperial?

  23. Matt says:

    One minor observation about the program… It seems like you are required to manually set your weekly goal every week. I like to start my week on Sunday but llast week I forgot… So now I’m stuck with starting a week on Tuesday!

    It would be great to be able to manually adjust the start of the green week. Writing in my example, I know exactly what I drank on Saturday, Sunday and Monday… So I could have easily set a goal week and then filled in my data.

    • Hi Matt—
      Sorry for the lag in response.
      Great flag. I’ll pass your comments along to our Saying When development team.
      Good to know: An update to the app will be coming, but it’s in very early stages.

  24. Rita says:

    I, my husband downloaded the app, and started using it, but something happened and the iPhone started to restart all by himself without no human action. He had to eliminate the app and the phone started working again. He has iOS version 11. Do you have any reports off the app failing with some iOS versions?! My phone has iOS version 10, and the app works great! Can you fix the problem, I think it’s a great app to start dealing with a problem. Thanks

    • Thank you so much for sending in your feedback! Reports like yours are the best way for us to know when things go awry and we need to do some more work. This is our first report on the app having issues with the new iOS so we’ll do some testing on our end to see if we can replicate the problem. With any luck it’s a minor glitch and you can try installing the app again in the near future. Thank you again for writing in.

  25. Egor says:

    Hello, I’m from Russia, thanks a lot for your application, it really helps.
    I wonder if you are still supporting it and maybe you can add data export feature, for example to csv or excel?
    Also it would be great just to update the graphic itself to be more up to date.

    Kind regards, Egor

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