1. My GCAL
In the age of digital messaging, the Georgia Crisis and Access Line increases accessibility through My GCAL, an app providing hotline and emergency counseling services to Atlanta’s youth. The simple design encourages those struggling with anxiety, depression or harmful thoughts to talk to someone, offering three options for communication: chat, text and call. And for those struggling with emotional articulation, the chat option starts with an evaluation form to assess the type of help needed and determine the level of severity.
Teaming up to develop a cognitive behavior therapy app, CEO Eddie Liu and chief scientist Drew Mallory created UpLift for adults to combat anxiety and depression. The app features a slew of tools to help positively refocus the brain, including problem-solving challenges and a mood journal, which the app can use to generate a mood chart demonstrating behavior patterns and situations that correspond to certain feelings. Even after short-term use, research shows that users are more equipped to handle their daily struggles.
Created by Emmy Award-winning TV reporter Sarah Hill, Healium is an interactive app using virtual and augmented reality as a meditation tool for people experiencing extreme stress. While users focus on different themes displayed on the screen, the app tracks the user’s heart rate and brainwaves to show the themes’ calming effects. The app offers three ways to access its VR and AR capabilities: Users with a smartwatch or EEG headband can link one to the app to display virtual scenery through real-time camera view; for those without either gadget, the app offers a free version that includes a set number of visual sceneries to choose from; and, for the full VR experience, the final version comes with a VR headset and software, with new stories offered each month.
While growing up, Atlanta-raised Hannah Lucas often struggled to manage school, her social life and her medical condition, and eventually the stress resulted in depression. After watching his sister struggle, Lucas’ brother came up with an idea, and, together, the siblings developed notOK, an easy-to-use app that enables struggling teens to quickly contact trusted friends and family. With one click of the notOK button, the app sends a text to one of the specified contacts noting that the user needs support. The person’s phone number and GPS location are also included with the text. And once the user feels stable again, the app notifies the contact.
5. Think Quality
As part of its digital platform, TQIntelligence, an Atlanta-based data analytics platform transforming behavioral healthcare services for at-risk youth, created the app Think Quality. Catering to both individuals and healthcare providers, the app uses voice analytics and surveys to track changes in the user’s emotional state. Data is then generated through an algorithm to predict behavioral patterns, which, in turn, provides patients with guidance on how to handle emotions with healthy behaviors. When permitted by a patient, mental health professionals can access this data, enabling them to further monitor the patient’s progress. The hope is that pairing digital and in-person treatment will provide extensive mental health coverage while reducing costs.