Mental health, co-design and me
Young People's Programmer Louise Latter discusses the In Hand project as we prepare to launch a new mental health app
7 May 2014
"Since last February I have been managing the In Hand project at FACT. Partnering with Mersey Care, Red Ninja and a group of young people we have developed an app that is a mental health and well being tool.
It has been quite a journey, coming into this project was pretty daunting, it is an unusual partnership (arts organisation, app agency and mental health trust). As well as managing the expectations of these partners, I've also been managing the expectations of a group of 16 - 25 year olds and a huge funder (Comic Relief). Doing this without any experience of bringing anything, never mind an app to market was REALLY SCARY.
We are now one week away from the launch on 14 May and I am finally able to see what we have created, and it is this:
A simple and easy to use app that aims to bring focus to you if you're feeling a bit wibbly. That is basically it.
We started out aiming to create a crisis intervention app, which acts as a place to go if you are feeling at a point where you may not know what to do or where to go, or you are scared of what you might do or where you might go.
This morphed into a more low level app that was for anyone and everyone.
Within this strand of work at FACT we are aiming to challenge stigma and make people aware that everybody has a mental health state. Whether you experience the odd 'dark day' or you are receiving professional help for depression, we all have it and we need to look after it. I personally deal with anxiety issues and have ways of dealing with that (writing down how I feel, dancing alone to 90's R 'n B, running, screaming) and it can still be debilitating.
The thing is, we all need to build our own very personal suite of coping strategies whether or not our mental health has reached a point where a professional is involved. In Hand aims to be a part of that.
What's in your suite?"
In Hand will be available for download from 14 May