News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Code Blue, an app to help teenagers experiencing depression

Code Blue, a simple app to help teenagers experiencing depression

Wellington start up Social Code, have come up with a simple concept aimed at helping teenagers with depression.

The inspiration came when two mothers using Social Code’s Goalpost app to quit smoking, asked if there was something similar to the panic button, for their teenagers struggling with depression. That provided enough encouragement for Social Code to look into a solution.

Social Code conducted research into why young people experiencing depression find it hard to reach out for help. Research suggests there are several reasons for this: they don’t recognise what they’re experiencing is depression; they feel ashamed and don’t want to admit they need help, or they don’t know who to reach out to. One thing came through clearly - they can’t always articulate what they are feeling yet desperately want help.

Code Blue is a simple smartphone app that acts as a mobile support crew. Designed to help young people get help when they most need it, it lets you select a support crew who, on receiving a ‘Code Blue’, will provide immediate support via text, phone, or by showing up.

Social Code sought feedback on the concept from youth mental health organisations in New Zealand, the US and UK and tested the idea on teenagers themselves.

Siobhan Bulfin, Social Code founder says the aim of the app is simple. “It’s not meant to be a solution for depression, but it may be a solution to providing immediate support at a critical time of need”.

“Depression is as much a sociological problem as it is clinical. It can be hard to ask for help, especially when you can’t describe what you're feeling. We want Code Blue to make it easy. By simply pushing a button on your phone your support crew is alerted and ready to help you immediately, no explanations required” says Siobhan.

Depression affects 1 in 6 New Zealanders and tends to hit young people the hardest with approximately one in seven people in New Zealand experiencing a major depressive disorder before the age of 24. Self-esteem generally develops in people between 12-20 years of age which means teenagers tend to lack the resilience to bounce back from life’s blows – including bullying. In an age where things like cyber-bullying often go unnoticed, this can leave them depressed and feeling worthless.

“We aren’t suggesting Code Blue is a solve-all solution, but we do think it could become a valuable tool to help young people reach out for help from people they trust, when feeling their worst. By building a prototype and testing it, we'll be able to improve it and potentially add in 0800 numbers or location-based support services” says Social Code’s Communications Manager, Sophie Gommans.

Not impervious to the irony that Code Blue is leveraging the very tools that can contribute to and enable bullying and depression, Bulfin says “This is an opportunity to use technology to help mitigate some of it’s adverse use”. She cites a quote from John Naisbitt author of High Tech, High Touch. “At best, technology supports and improves human life; at its worst, it alienates, isolates, distorts and destroys”.

Social Code has absorbed the cost of research, testing and design of Code Blue and have launched a crowd funding campaign to help raise US $25,000 to help fund the development of the app on iOS & Android so the prototype can go into real world testing.

Code Blue will be free for everyone, everywhere, always.

If you would like to donate or find out more, visit their Indiegogo campaign www.indiegogo.com/projects/code-blue

About Social Code
Social Code is a Wellington start up company which has received international recognition for their patient engagement and behavior change platform leveraging social support, applied game design, tracking tools and professional advice.

www.socialcode.io

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Scoop Review Of Books: The Typewriter Factory

I finished reading Don’t Dream It’s Over not long after it came out last August. I even started writing a review, which took something of an ‘I’m sorry people, but it’s already over’ approach. I’ve been pretty negative about journalism as it’s practiced in the mainstream (or MSM, or corporate media or liberal media or whatever terminology you prefer) for quite some time (see for example Stop the Press), and I believe the current capitalist media model is destructive and can’t be reformed. More>>

Sheep Update: Solo World Shearing Record Broken In Southland

Southland shearer Leon Samuels today set a new World solo eight-hours strongwool ewe-shearing after a tally of 605 in a wool shed north of Gore. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Dick Frizzell At The Solander Gallery

One of the most influential and celebrated contemporary Pop artists working in New Zealand, Dick Frizzell is mostly known for his appropriation of kitsch Kiwiana icons, which he often incorporates into cartoon-like paintings and lithographs. Not content with adhering to one particular style, he likes to adopt consciously unfashionable styles of painting, in a manner reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein. More>>

Old Music: Pop Icon Adam Ant Announces NZ Tour

Following his recent sold out North American and UK tours, Adam Ant is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the release of his landmark KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER album with a newly-remastered reissue (Sony Legacy) and Australasian tour. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Looking Back

Writing a memoir that appeals to a broad readership is a difficult undertaking. As an experienced communicator, Lloyd Geering keeps the reader’s interest alive through ten chapters (or portholes) giving views of different aspects of his life in 20th-century New Zealand. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Purple (and Violet) Prose

This is the second recent conjoint publication by Reeve and Stapp; all to do with esoteric, arcane and obscure vocabulary – sesquipedalian, anyone – and so much more besides. Before I write further, I must stress that the book is an equal partnership between words and images and that one cannot thrive without the other. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news