It wasn’t one death in particular that jolted Amanda Johnstone into action. It was what linked all those suicide notes that proved impossible to ignore. “They all thought they were a burden and it was too hard to keep reaching out,” says Johnstone, 33, who grew up on the Australian island of Tasmania, and had three close friends and nine people from her wider social circle take their own lives.
Johnstone’s experiences were sadly all too commonplace. Tasmania, population 530,000, has the highest youth suicide rate in Australia: 45 victims for every 100,000 people in 2015, as economic hardship, social alienation and underfunded social services take their toll. (In the U.S., it was 14.6 youth suicides per 100,000 in 2017.) But mental health issues can strike anywhere; more than 300 million people around the world suffer from depression, according to the World Health Organization, but fewer than half of them receive any treatments for depression.’
Inventing an altruistic product is one thing, taking it to market is an altogether different challenge.
Tasmania has the highest youth suicide rate in Australia: 45 victims for every 100,000 people.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and a statistic that doesn’t take into account the collateral psychological damage levelled upon family and friends who are left behind.
“Growing up in Tasmania, I lost three close friends and nine people from my wider circle,” says Amanda Hart.
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.
HEALTHTECH APP 'BE A LOOPER' AIMS TO HELP THOSE SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION EASILY CHECK IN WITH THIER SUPPORT LOOP
Be A Looper allows users to check in daily with a rating of how they're feeling on a scale of one to five, with others in their loop also checking in.
JACK SINGLETON BACKS NEW FREE ONLINE MENTAL HEALTH TOOL
RUOK? Board Member Jack Singleton has backed new free online app Be A Looper that aims at helping people in fragile mental health situations.
‘Be A Looper’, a new mental health mobile application by Social Health Innovations, has been announced as a finalist in the Global Mobile Awards 2018, known as ‘The Oscars of the mobile industry’ – the nod coinciding with the technology’s official global launch this year.
The proprietary check-in and peer support app helps to keep users “in the Loop” with up to five people. The tool, created by leading mental health and design specialists at Social Health Innovations is the only mental health finalist in the coveted GLOMOs.