According to the World Health Organisation, one in every four people in the world will suffer with a mental health disorder in their lifetime – that’s 1.9 billion people. Students in Ireland are no different, with College reporting a 46% increase in incoming students with a mental health condition for the academic year 2016/17. With mental illness being one of the leading causes of ill health worldwide, it can seem difficult to know how to begin tackling this issue.
Mental wellness is one way to combat these issues at a personal and local level. Mental wellness focuses on a balanced lifestyle that incorporates many aspects of life, such as nutrition and stress, It aims to create an environment that can help prevent mental illnesses. In recent times, a range of technology has sprung up to aid with this idea.
Within Trinity, an app that aims to improve a person’s mental wellness by providing personalised content and empowering people to use the tools provided for self improvement. KeepAppy has been through a transformation over the last few months and hopes to touch the lives of many students.
KeepAppy started in 2014, with a bright idea to change the way we think about our mental health. In its early stages, the app aimed to aid counselling services and complement the user’s own initiatives to improve their mental health. The app then moved in the direction of mental fitness as an Enactus project, and was part of the team that placed second at the Enactus Ireland competition in 2017.
This past year, KeepAppy has been overhauled again, with a move towards mental wellness. The company is still part of Enactus and will be competing again this year. It has also been part of the Trinity Entrepreneurial Society this year. As this app has been through so many changes and has been around for almost 4 years, you may be left wondering why now is KeepAppy’s moment?
The simple answer to that question is the team behind the app. KeepAppy is student built and has a special place in the hearts of all those who work on it. The team this year has expanded and changed drastically. The diversity of the team and the commitment required to launch KeepAppy is a testament to the belief harboured by the team in the cause – improving student’s mental health.
The team includes students from a range of disciplines – psychology, computer science, law, business and medicine to name a few. Mental health is a global issue, that by virtue brings together students from all walks of life.
So what does KeepAppy actually do? It measures 8 vitals : mood, stress, productivity, food, exercise, water consumption, sleep and social time. It takes less than a minute per day to simply swipe across a few scales!
Based on users’ responses, it provides tailored content that is intended to empower the user to improve their own mental wellness. It also uses goal setting & tracking to help users to build healthier habits. The diary for daily journaling allows users to record their thoughts and feelings, so that their self awareness may be increased.
The team wants people to take care of their mental health as they do with their physical health: by empowering them to develop the awareness and the knowledge to solve their issues, they want to prevent people from facing serious mental health problems.
KeepAppy is the only tool that offers personalized tips and content to users to improve their mental wellness, while remaining free to download. We are working to destigmatize mental health and help create better working and learning environments. KeepAppy is available to download on both Android and IOS app stores.
KeepAppy is just one the many student initiatives aiming to tackle the global mental health issue. Students are a vital part of innovation and are key players in driving society forwards to that we can improve as a collective. KeepAppy has come a long way, and is still fighting for improved mental health worldwide – starting with Trinity.
Disclaimer: Ella is a senior freshman psychology student who became involved with the KeepAppy team in November.