Since 1949, May has been designated Mental Health Month by the US congress. As part of this year’s Mental Health Blog Day (#mhblogday), we want to share with you a story of one mother of a teenage daughter, who inspired us to create a smartphone app to help teens experiencing depression.
“My daughter has suffered depression off and on for two years. It started when she was 13 in high school. At first we thought it was just puberty or mood swings, but it’s got worse and she won’t talk to the doctor,” she says.
“We’re pretty close and we talk about it, but when she gets really down and she’s not at home it’s like she shuts down, she can’t talk about it.”
It was while this mom was using our Goalpost app to quit smoking, she asked if we could do something similar to the ‘panic button’, for teenagers who were being bullied at school.
“My daughter is often so depressed she can’t even call me. Yet afterward when I ask her why she didn’t call, she says, “I didn’t know what to say”. But she wished I’d had called her.”
Inspired by her story, we want to develop a free app, Code Blue, which makes it easy for teens to ask for help. Through their smartphones, it connects teens to people they trust. Code Blue acts like a panic button; it immediately connects young people to a support crew (parents, friends, etc) when they most need it. On receiving a ‘Code Blue’, the support crew provides the teen with immediate support via text, phone, or by showing up in person.
“If she was able to download an app onto her phone where she could push one button that lets me know she needs help.. .it seems like such a simple thing, but for her it’d be like a lifeline.”
This video explains how Code Blue works: <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/wPZqy-aac5I" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>
It’s really important to us that Code Blue remains free for everyone, forever. To make this possible, we are trying to raise funds to build the app on the crowdfunding website, Indiegogo.
As parents of teens and tweens, do you think an app like Code Blue would be useful? If so, please support our crowdfunding campaign to make it a reality.
You can help raise awareness for mental health this month, by sharing and joining conversations online, using the hashtag: #mhblogday