Innovation That Matters

Panic button app helps teens with depression reach out for support

Sport & Fitness

Code Blue is an app that acts as a simple panic button for teenagers when they need the help of a loved one.

Depression is a hard issue for anyone to talk about, let alone teenagers. If they're suffering from mental health issues, they may feel embarrassed about reaching out or unable to articulate what's going on in their head. We recently wrote about Ask Amy, the platform that makes politics easier to talk about through texting. Now Code Blue is an app that acts as a simple panic button when they need the help of a loved one.

Out of the 350 million people worldwide living with depression, a sizeable proportion of those will be teenagers and young people suffering from bullying or mental health issues. But while their friends and family are the ones that could provide the best support, they can be the most difficult to speak to about their problems. Developed by New Zealand's SocialCode, Code Blue lets teens enter in the contact details of those aware of their depression so they can easily notify them when they're feeling bad, or even suicidal.

At any point, the app can be used to send a quick alert to any of the support group contacts. Users don't have to compose a text to explain themselves or collect their thoughts before making a phone call. They simply press a button and a message is automatically sent, along with GPS location details if the user wishes. Family and friends can then initiate a text, call or face-to-face visit to make sure they're ok and give them the support they need.

Watch the video below to learn more about the app:

Code Blue uses technology teens are most comfortable with to get their message across to loved ones without offering a barrier to communication. Are there other ways to use smartphones so kids can open up about other aspects of life without the pressure of a formal conversation?



Download PDF