African-American teenagers create app to save teens from suicide

Nduta Waweru May 11, 2018
Hannah and Charles Lucas. Photo: notOK

American teen suicide rates have been on the increase since 2007.

To address the issue, two teenagers, Hannah and Charles Lucas, came up with an app called NotOk, to help save teens from suicide.

The inspiration for the app came from a personal experience.

Hannah, who suffers from postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a disorder affecting the nervous system.  Due to her condition, she had a constant fear of being alone, which quickly spiralled into anxiety and depression.  She suffered bullying to the point of attempting suicide.

It was at one of her lowest moments that the idea of notOK was born.

Charles, who saw how devastated his sister was, was sad that she could not offer any help.  Not only was he too young to drive but also too young to help his sister when she faints.

Once he heard about the app, he jumped on the idea, working on the wireframe and the work mode, earning the name Tech Support.

How the app works

African-American teenagers create app to save teens from suicide

The app comes with a ‘digital panic button’ which a user can press when they are not feeling ok.  The button will send a message to five trusted people pre-selected by the user.

The trusted users may include family, a counsellor, friends or even other users of the notOK app.

The premise is based on the need for support for users as they go through tough times, and that a strong support can not only build resilience against stress but also prevent suicide.

Hannah and Charles went ahead to form their own company, Bugs and Bee LLC to run the app and have formed partnerships with youth health organisations across the world.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: May 11, 2018


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