A new mental health app could help save lives, as it allows you to check in on your friends on a daily basis and see how they are "really" feeling.
These days we’re accustomed to scrolling through our Facebook feeds to see what people we know have been up to, but less and less do we actually pick up the phone or even pop by for a visit to actually check how they’re going.
There is only so much your Instagram feed can reveal about your life, or at least the life you want other people to think you have, and more often than not there are so many other things going on that you don’t feel comfortable sharing.
But a new app called Be A Looper is hoping to use our love for technology for good, and allow people to effectively keep tabs on their closest friends and maybe help fight mental health issues within the community.
The tool founded by Australian Amanda Hart, and developed with a team of specialists, allows a person to remain "in the loop" with five people anywhere in the world. Effectively five people you can’t live without.
It allows you to share how your day is tracking, looking at things like stress or sleep, and to keep a close eye on those you care about. Think of it as a virtual hand hold.
“We wanted to create the equivalent of Tinder or Candy Crush for mental health,” Amanda said.
Amanda volunteered at a suicide prevention house for young adults in her teens and learnt this technique while there. Since then she would ask her friends – up to 40 at one point – to get in touch with her via SMS daily at 4pm and give her a score of 1-10 to share how they are going.
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After 12 years she realised it was a relatively unobtrusive way of keeping tabs on someone’s mental health and could make a real difference, so she came up with Be A Looper.
She said the design of the app to be like a game was crucial to creating something people would use daily.
“We needed a private yet interactive place where people could express themselves authentically, multiple times a day if they require, without judgment – but with a ring of responsibility around them from their peers – who also check-in daily.”
Amanda believes technology has a strong role to play in reducing mental health issues and the suicide rate around the world.
The Be A Looper free application can be downloaded on both iOS and Android or via bealooper.com.
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