Suffering from a mental illness can become extremely overwhelming and even leave victims feeling lonesome. Thanks to the “notOK” mental health app created by Hannah and Charlie Lucas, immediate support will be given to those asking for help in a time of crisis
The teenage siblings launched the application January 31, 2018, in Canada and the United States in honor of #LetsTalkDay, a day to bring awareness to mental health conversations. notOK App™ serves as a virtual panic button, sending five pre-selected contacts displaying a message that reads, “Hey, I’m not OK. Please call me, text me, or come find me.” The recipient will be given two choices of responding back, “Yes, I can help” or “No, I can’t help”. The app also shows the person’s last known GPS location on a map.
The idea came about when 15-year-old Hannah was diagnosed with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) disease, fainting almost 200 times her freshman year of high school. “We didn’t know what was going on,” said Robin Lucas the teens’ mother told Forsyth County News.
The young girl began developing anxiety and slipped into a deep depression, which led to self-harm. Yet, Hannah found a way to turn her darkest moments into light.
“My mom was my rock throughout everything. She was holding me one night after a rough day; we were both crying. In my hysterics, I cried out ‘I wish there was an app that could notify people when I was about to faint.’ The idea stuck with me and the notOk app was born”, she detailed to the local newspaper.
Her 13-year-old brother Charlie who was given the family nickname “Tech Support”, created a prototype for notOK App™ by wire-framing the app’s basic structure. “One morning, she told me about an idea for an app she had and I figured, maybe this was one way I could actually help her.”
The Georgia based-teen enterprisers expressed that their idea goes beyond an app. “At first it was to help my sister, but now I realize she’s not the only person going through tough issues. I want to not only help people struggling, but I also want to show other kids they can start a business if they have an idea”, Lucas expressed to the news outlet.
As for Hannah, she’s gained a new perspective on life. “I can 100 percent say that I will grow up to help people. I mean, if I sit here waiting for someone else to do it, it may never get done … I dream that one-day notOk will not only be an app, but a movement because let’s face it, it’s OK to be notOK”, she said.