16-Year-Old Creates ‘notOK’ App for Teens With Mental Health Issues in Moments of Crisis

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life, with the estimate being roughly 13% for children aged 8-13. For families of these teens, the high statistic may not be a surprising one. After all, adolescence is a hard time for pretty much everyone, but even so, it’s in an issue that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it should

Fortunately, one sister-and-brother team is doing everything they can to empower the very young people who are currently dealing with mental health issues. A 16-year-old by the name of Hannah Lucas, with tech support from her 15-year-old brother, Charlie, recently created an ingenious new invention called the notOK app. The notOK™ app is a tool that describes itself as being “a free mental health SOS.” 

All users need to do is download the app to their mobile device and, if and whenever they feel that they need some immediate support, they simply tap a button that will then notify the predetermined confidant of their choosing. The notification acts as a “digital panic button” and immediately sends up-to-the-minute information to the contact, such as GPS coordinates.

Here are some of the revolutionary app’s most helpful features via the notOK app website:

  • Peer Support via your Trusted Contacts
  • Simple message to take the guesswork out of asking for help
  • Immediate help with notOK™’s one tap solution
  • Accurate GPS location
  • Trusted contacts are not required to download app

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hannah and her brother have received heaps of attention for the creation and brilliant execution of their groundbreaking mental health app. The startup has been featured by hundreds of news outlets worldwide and has even nabbed awards from Mental Health America and recognition from the T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge.

But, what makes this innovation even more special is the fact that its creator was inspired to create it after undergoing her own mental health crisis. You see, Hannah Lucas suffers from Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) a disorder that affects the autonomic nervous system. When she was 15, the teen tech entrepreneur was so overwhelmed by the symptoms, that she attempted to take her own life. Her mother was able to stop the teen, and being the superhero that she is, Hannah was able to turn the traumatizing situation into a positive one.

Anyone who has struggled with or has known someone who has struggled with depression or suicidal thoughts can certainly see the value in this brilliant invention. We hope that notOK is the first app of many that help to alleviate the pain felt from mental health conditions. An idea that certainly gives us plenty of hope for the future!

Now that you have the deets on this app, it’s time for you to meet the creator, Hannah Lucas. To see the 16-year-old talk about the mental health struggle that lead to the creation of this app, be sure to watch the video below. And, to download the app, visit the notOK™ website. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the notOK app! Do you think that it will be useful for teens struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts? Does your teenager have this app? Do you wish that you had this app as a teenager?