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


Student designs web app to help people with ongoing illness

Canterbury student designs web app to help people with ongoing illness

May 5, 2014

A University of Canterbury student who graduated last month has designed a new web app which will enable people with ongoing health difficulties to explore their identity and learn that they are not defined by their illness.

The new website app, Beautiful Identities, will help people create a private profile and follow prompts to learn about maintaining their identity while experiencing mental and physical issues.

The app has been created by Hazel Guyan and will help people look at their identity in a visual format to consider things they may have overlooked.

``Beautiful Identities is designed to help young people experiencing chronic physical or mental difficulties to explore other aspects of their character so that they do not feel judged by their illness.

``The current website is a blog with thoughts on living well with illness, and has been getting 100 views a week.

``Although it can be used by anyone with an ongoing illness, it is particularly intended to be used by young people who have recently been diagnosed with an illness, and are still coming to terms with how it will impact their life.’’

An estimated 29 percent of New Zealanders between 16and 24 years old have a mental disorder in a 12 month period, according to the Mental Health Commission. More than 23,000 young people used secondary mental health services in the year ending June 2008, according to the Ministry of Health.

Guyan has received support from the University’s Innovators manager Dr Rachel Wright. Over the summer, while working with Dr Wright, Guyan carried out research and market validation for her app and received positive feedback from non-government organisations, medical professionals and patients.

``Many people believed there is significant need for something like this, as people can use it in their own time. There was a general consensus that identity is hugely impacted by a diagnosis of ongoing illness.

``Beautiful Identities is planning to become a charitable trust and expand services from the web into the world of face-to-face interaction.

``We have launched a crowd-funding campaign ( to raise funds for the web app and for promoting the web app once completed. I am seeking to get into public health and the community sector where the web app will be useful.’’


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


New Zealand Geographic: Photographer Of The Year Announced

Shaun Jeffers, has won the Landscape category at the New Zealand Geographic, Photographer of the Year awards for his stunning shot of the glowworms at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves! More>>


Howard Davis: Review - 'I, Daniel Blake' - Ken Loach's Bleak Masterpiece

'I, Daniel Blake' is a bleak masterpiece, a chilling and moving story of two people striking up an unlikely friendship under extremely adverse circumstances. It is both a polemical indictment of a faceless benefits bureaucracy that strips claimants of their humanity by reducing them to mere numbers, and a celebration of the decency and compassion of ordinary people who look out for one another when the state has abandoned them. More>>

Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news