Two Mental Health Advocates Collaborate To Create Eating Disorders Recovery App
Co-Founder of the Mental Health Charity Voices of Hope, Genevieve Mora and Founder of The Kite Program,Hannah Hardy Jones have come together to create a one of a kind program, delivered via an app, to support people through recovery from an Eating Disorder. They have launched a Pledge Me campaign to raise funds to create this resource.
It is estimated that around 103,000 New Zealanders struggle with an Eating Disorder. There is a huge lack of resources and support to help those who have been diagnosed or who are at risk of developing an Eating Disorder. There is a lack of funding as well as wrap-around support for individuals and their families. Shockingly there has been an 18% increase in referrals for eating disorders services since lockdown.
Genevieve herself fought a tough battle with Anorexia Nervosa and although her personal experience in the public system was good, she is contacted daily by parents, carers and sufferers who are desperate for help and advice. Genevieve co-facilitates New Zealand’s first lived experience led support group for individuals with Eating Disorders and has been doing so for the last year.
“My days are full of people reaching out, desperate for help. Services are over flooded and something needs to be done. We need to work collaboratively to find a solution.” says Mora.
Hannah had been following Genevieve on social media and was inspired by the work she was doing in this space. Although she hasn’t had the first-hand experience of an Eating Disorder, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after the birth of her first child. Using her HR experience and her experience in the mental health system, she created The Kite Program. Launched initially as a wellbeing solution for mothers, it has now expanded into corporate wellbeing. She knew that the Kite solution could be tailored particularly well to support people fighting specific mental health conditions such as Eating Disorders.
“ Over the past 18 months since launching Kite for Mums, I had been approached by a number of women who had struggled with an eating disorder and could see how Kite could help. After seeing Genevieve’s incredible work I knew that she would be the perfect person to collaborate with on this project and I reached out to her,” says Hannah Hardy-Jones
The project is called Love your Kite.
Genevieve and Hannah describe a kite as symbolising freedom and wellness. The bite-sized activities that are delivered to the user each day will be written as if their free and well self is supporting them through their journey.
The app will include over 40 bespoke modules, with practical tools and techniques being shared each day. Topics will include stress management, coping with anxiety, self worth, relationships, having a recovery mindset and specific support for carers.
“Our hope is that Love your Kite fills the gap. We are not suggesting this app resource should be used instead of professional support, but that it will be used alongside it.” says Hardy-Jones.
Although Love your Kite is being overseen by clinical professionals, Hannah and Genevieve are wanting to create something separate to the traditional clinical resources currently available. Like a beautiful book, it is user-led, is supportive and encouraging. The program will not only include achievable modules, but will also have links to mental health resources and short mindfulness exercises.
In order to make this crucial app resource a reality Hannah and Genevieve are on a mission to raise $50,000. From app development through to content creation, website support, admin support as well as clinical oversight and marketing to ensure a successful roll-out of this program this all costs money. The duo do not want cost to be a barrier and so with this funding, they will also commit to gifting 10,000 subscriptions free of charge for those who cannot afford it. Love your Kite will then work on a koha/donation model.
”We know how much this resource is desperately needed and we are both driven to make a truly positive change in this space. We just need that first boost to get Love your Kite off the ground” says Mora.