Teen Siblings Create App For People Struggling With Mental Health

At the press of a button, users can let loved ones know they are 'Not OK.'

Two teenage siblings from Georgia have created an app designed to help people when they’re feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Last year, 15-year-old Hannah Lucas was diagnosed with a medical condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which caused her to frequently faint. The episodes brought on by her condition left Hannah afraid to be alone. She became anxious and depressed and even began to engage in self-harm, according to ABC News.

Together with her 13-year-old brother Charlie, Hannah developed an app called notOK that would help others in a similar situation to feel less alone. Charlie, who learned coding skills in summer camp, was able to put his technical knowledge to use in co-creating the app.

“I helped illustrate it out so he would know what to do,” Hannah told ABC News. “He looked at my drawings and he coded it to tell the coders exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it to look.”

The notOK App allows users to simply press a button that will send a text message to up to five preselected contacts to let them know the user is struggling at the moment. The automated message reads, “Hey, I’m not OK. Please call me, text me, or come find me.” It also gives the recipient the user’s GPS location.

Hannah, a sophomore in high school, pitched the app while taking a summer entrepreneurship class at Georgia Tech. She was connected with a development company in Savannah that helped her bring her dream to life.

Hannah hopes that the app will be the driving force behind a larger movement around mental health issues.“My goal is to make it a movement like the #MeToo movement,” she told Black Enterprise. “I want other people who are going through what I’m going through to not feel alone. To know that it’s OK not to be OK.”

The app is available for both Android and iOS devices and carries a $2.99 monthly fee.

Congratulations to the these enterprising teens for putting technology to work for such a good cause!