Online Anonymous Mobile Application with Offline “School Angels” Training

Institution

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Team Members

Lee Yi Hang, Kammy (Project Leader)
Chan Tak Yin
Tsang Yuen Ching , Yolanda
Tao Wing Lam

Professional Advisor

Cheung Sau Mee
Senior Psychological Counsellor
Alliance Holistic Care Center

Background

Students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong aim to reach out to peer with suicidal risk, and to enhance the understanding of mental health and suicide prevention among students. The project is divided into two important parts, the online mobile application and offline training sessions.

Objectives

To create an online mobile application for youth at suicidal risks to share worries anonymously, record moods, set up coping strategies or de-stress routines, and get instantaneous support in crisis.
On the other hand, to also provide offline “School Angels” offline training for students who are interested to learn how to recognize symptoms of mental health problems, to offer and provide initial help, and to guide a person toward appropriate treatments and other supportive aid.

Methodology

A mobile application, “You Matter”, was created to allow students to share, encourage and support one another. The mobile app includes self-build coping resources, such as journal entry, which allows users to record daily emotions and activities. Users can then reflect on their emotional activities through various reflective questions, i.e. why do you feel this way today. Reflective questions may enable the elicitation of hope in users, in turn building a self-coping mechanisms. Furthermore, an encouragement feed was also created in the app. Users are encouraged to post on their positive thoughts, struggles and worries in an anonymous manner. Users can then look through the feed and feel supported. Mental health related resources, i.e. suicide prevention hotlines, are also provided in app, where users can reach out for help and support during crisis.

One offline training session was conducted during the implementation period. A talk by a social worker was conducted on stress-relieving methods prior to examination period. Throughout the event, they have distributed exam survival kits and stress balls as an act of encouragement and support for students. Mindfulness exercises were also demonstrated in the talk to cater for their own needs.

Impacts and Outcomes

During offline training session, participants are equipped with better knowledge on factors that affect mental health and basic knowledge about mental illness. Through this, there is an enhancement of awareness among participants in understanding their own emotions. Also, through the talk and student sharing, the workshop provided participants with suggestions – from mindfulness exercises to seeking professional help, which in turn provided methods for students to cope with their own stress, and offer help and guidance to their distressed peers.
The online application was successfully launched on Google Play store. This app created awareness among users in understanding their own emotions and mental-health states through reflective journals and profile overview. It also allows users to share anonymously, utilizing the power of community to receive encouragement and give support.

Number of Beneficiaries

100 students