Hannah Lucas' battle with a medical condition last year that caused her to frequently faint without warning had some serious effects on her mental health, ultimately resulting in anxiety and depression diagnoses as well as self-harm.
“I started passing out more and more often and I was terrified of going anywhere,” the Georgia teen told ABC News earlier this month. “Because what if I passed out and no one was around or what if someone took advantage of me?”
At the time, Hannah told her mom she wished an app existed that could tell her family and friends when she needed help in an emergency — a digital panic button, essentially.
But instead of waiting around for someone to invent the tool, Hannah and her tech-savvy brother, Charles, 13, decided to create it themselves.
In just five months, they managed to team up with Georgia Tech professors and a Savannah development company to create an app called notOK that "takes the guesswork out of asking for help when you need it — and it's pretty freaking brilliant.
On the notOK platform, users can simply press a button to message up to five contacts about their mental health. Each contact will receive a text, a link to the user's current location, and the following notification: “Hey, I'm not OK. Please call me, text me, or come find me.”
Since notOK was released this past January at the low cost of $2.99 a month, Hannah says she's gotten rave reviews about its service.
“The reaction we’ve heard has been really positive, especially from parents and kids suffering with anxiety,” she told ABC. "Those kids don’t know the words to tell somebody.”
I hope the app continues to pick up traction, because it can (and likely will) save lives. Props to these awesome siblings!