Having taught in the English education system for 13 years before embarking on my Digital Marketing career, the world of technology in education continues to fascinate me, both inside and outside the classroom. 90% of 16-24-year-olds have access to a smartphone, according to a survey carried out by
An app has caught my attention this week, called ‘For Me’. This app has been launched by Childline. It has been stated that it is the first online counselling service. With the issues about mental health becoming more prevalent, a counselling smartphone app that children and teenagers can access is a welcome move.
Counselling Smartphone App For Children and Teens
The app was designed by four teenagers to address the urgent need for confidential support among young people. The ‘For Me’ app is free to download in the UK and Channel Islands and has been specifically designed for discreet usage.
Laura Hindle, co-creator of the app said, “Our initial ideas for the app came about during a school lesson. I hope it will really make a difference to people our age who are struggling.”
Barclays fund the app and is currently available in the iOS app store. It will soon be rolled out on Android phones, as well.
The Tech Community’s Support
The technology community is recognising the importance of looking after the mental health of its users and are sinking money into support services. Facebook uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to identify people who are struggling. These algorithms are being constantly trained, and Facebook has recently implemented strategies to try to prevent self-harm and suicide as well. Currently, this is being trialled in the US. Instagram has also carried out similar trials.
The need for online counselling is also been addressed in the workplace. Applications like Slack offer 3rd party apps including TalkLife Connect, an online therapy platform based around instant messaging.
There is a definite move by technology companies to address mental health and wellbeing around education and the workplace. Social support services like the above counselling smartphone app are critical to the necessity to address mental health for a widening generation of users.
Childline is available for young people online and on the phone at any time. As well as the new app, young people can ring Childline on 0800 1111 or visit their website for help and support.