Doctors diagnosed Hannah Lucas with a medical condition that caused frequent fainting. She became anxious, depressed and started to self-harm.
“I started passing out more and more often and I was terrified of going anywhere,” the 15-year-old told ABC News. “Because what if I passed out and no one was around or what if someone took advantage of me?”
It was based on these experiences that Hannah and her 13-year-old brother Charlie Lucas created an app to help people in distress. The idea for the notOK App came from Hannah telling her mom she wished there was an app she could use to quickly alert her family and friends when she needed help either physically or emotionally.
These amazing kids are launching their app today for #BellLetsTalk #LetsTalkDay. After battling with depression and anxiety, they created a solution for anyone struggling to reach out. #notokapp @NotOKApp https://t.co/1dlKsFXlX8 pic.twitter.com/BC5NH7FtDc
— Robyn Lucas (@robyn_lucas) January 31, 2018
Hannah pitched the app while taking a summer class on entrepreneurship at Georgia Tech. There, professors connected the family with a development company in Savannah.
The app, which costs a $2.99 monthly fee, was released last week in both iOS and Android versions and allows users to press a button that messages up to five pre-selected contacts.
The text, along with a link to the user’s current GPS location, shows up on the contacts’ phones with the message, “Hey, I’m not OK. Please call me, text me, or come find me.”
The target audience for the app are teens with mental health issues. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) an estimated 49.5 percent of adolescents between the ages 13 to 18 have a mental disorder.
“The reaction we’ve heard has been really positive, especially from parents and kids suffering with anxiety,” Hannah said. “Those kids don’t know the words to tell somebody.”
What an amazing idea from two extremely talented young people. To learn more, check out the app’s website. Congrats Hannah & Charlie!