ATLANTA — A pair of Atlanta siblings created an app that can immediately alert your closet friends or family if you are feeling overwhelmed.
The notOK App was created by Hannah and Charlie Lucas, after Hannah attempted to take her own life.
Hannah, diagnosed with the chronic illness, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, a condition causing her to faint often. At 15 years old and as a freshman in high school, Hannah was bullied relentlessly. She suffered from depression, anxiety and an eating disorder as a result of the torment.
The now 18-year-old recalled an attempt to take her own life, which was thankfully interrupted by her mom.
“Her just saving me, made me realize that I needed help and I could do something to save myself,” said Hannah.
She turned to her younger brother, Charlie. As a self-proclaimed tech support guru, he was thrilled at the opportunity to help.
“I couldn’t do anything for her when she was passing out. I couldn’t grab her before she fainted, I couldn’t drive her to the doctor. I didn’t even know what was wrong with her. So, I knew I could help her (with the app) because I had been learning how to program since I was 7.”
The app is a digital panic button programmed with up to five of your closet friends or family. A push of the button sends a text to them with your location. The siblings say, now more than ever, it’s important to have the mental health support.
“We’re all physically isolated and that can lead to social isolation as well,” explained Hannah. “So, having your mobile support group on your app and being able to get in touch with them immediately, lets you know that you’re not alone and also lets them know they aren’t alone, and it really strengthen that bond between people.”
Since 2018, the notOK app has been downloaded over 100,000 times on Apple and Androids devices. The siblings received multiple messages on different social media platforms, thanking them for the technology.
Hannah said, “One message that really stuck with me was this mom reaching out to us and thanking us for saving her daughter’s life.”
Their app has also received praise and acknowledgement from Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Child Mind Institute, Beyonce and others.
The teens recommend programming the app with up to five trusted friends, family, or even your therapist. They also recommend having some of the contacts be local ones, in case they need to get to you in a hurry.
To learn more about the app, visit their website.