By Ryan Velez
January 31st marked #LetsTalkDay, a day to bring awareness to mental health conversations. Atlanta Black Star reported to celebrate the day, two teenagers, Hannah and Charlie Lucas, launched their notOK mental health app, which serves as a virtual panic button for people with mental health issues.
The app sends five pre-selected contacts a message that reads, “Hey, I’m not OK. Please call me, text me, or come find me.” The recipient will be given two choices of responding back, “Yes, I can help” or “No, I can’t help”. The app also shows the person’s last known GPS location on a map. The need for the app comes from a very personal place, when 15-year-old Hannah was diagnosed with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) disease, fainting almost 200 times her freshman year of high school. “We didn’t know what was going on,” said Robin Lucas, the teens’ mother, to Forsyth County News.
Hannah developed anxiety and depression as a result turned the pain into innovation. “My mom was my rock throughout everything. She was holding me one night after a rough day; we were both crying. In my hysterics, I cried out ‘I wish there was an app that could notify people when I was about to faint.’ The idea stuck with me and the notOk app was born”, she detailed to the local newspaper. This was the perfect task for 13-year-old Charlie, who has the nickname “Tech Support” due to his savvy. He created a prototype for notOK App™ by wire-framing the app’s basic structure. “One morning, she told me about an idea for an app she had and I figured, maybe this was one way I could actually help her.”
The idea behind notOk goes beyond a simple app, though. “At first it was to help my sister, but now I realize she’s not the only person going through tough issues. I want to not only help people struggling, but I also want to show other kids they can start a business if they have an idea”, Charlie expressed to the news outlet.
“I can 100 percent say that I will grow up to help people. I mean, if I sit here waiting for someone else to do it, it may never get done … I dream that one-day notOk will not only be an app, but a movement because let’s face it, it’s OK to be notOK”, said Hannah. Not a bad job for two kids this young.