Students develop new Wellbeing app
‘Pin it or bin it’ is a new mobile app developed by University of Liverpool Computer Services & Life Sciences UTC students to help young people understand and manage their mental health & wellbeing.
We sat down with former UTC students Conor and Ellie to discuss their involvement in the project.
Q1. Ellie & Connor – the app looks great! How did you initially become involved in the project?
– Mrs Small suggested the idea as a way of us taking a more hands-on approach towards wellbeing, I thought it would be a great way for me to get involved with research.
Q2. What was your role in making the app and how does it work?
– I and Ellie started by making a complex wellbeing app that used a variety of components, one of which was the ‘pin it’ function. Professor Kinderman expressed interest in this area and asked us to develop this idea without all the extras.
It works as a sort of diary where you start off by writing an extract from your life (good or bad.) You then get the opportunity to ‘pin it’. This is where you can add it to a notice board so you can look back on it at any time and hopefully feel happy when reflecting on it. Alternatively, there is the ‘bin it’ function too. This is a sort of cathartic visual therapy, the negative experience gets thrown into a bin or lit on fire etc. It’s set against the office-type scenery.
Q3. What was the thought process behind it/where did you get your inspiration from to create it?
– As for inspiration it came from the need of a diary and I just jazzed it up, it seemed like a logical to develop it from there.
Q4. Why is mental health such an important issue and what advice would you give to any young people who may be affected by mental health issues?
– Mental health is an important issue, especially for young people.
For those affected I would offer the following advice: Try not to worry too much, as everyone suffers from at least some aspect of mental distress and you’re definitely not alone. Just start by talking to someone. This can be someone in school, a teacher, a friend or even a dedicated mental health specialist, there are some great anonymous services out there too. Also, know there is no longer any stigma attached to admitting there is an issue when it comes to mental health. Many issues can be addressed quickly by talking to a professional (GP or Clinical psychologist).
Q5. How did it feel to see the finished product?
– It was very rewarding to see our efforts turned into a functioning app!
The Pin it or Bin it app is available here
For more information on mental health services visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/mental-health-helplines.aspx