MentalHelp is a mental health application for linking members of the community to appropriate mental health services in their area.
1 in 5 Australians will suffer from a mental illness in any given year. In young Western Australians it will affect almost 1 in every 3. Only a quarter of those will seek out effective help, others resorting to substance abuse, self harm before getting help or in the worst scenarios taking their own life.
While a multitude of mental health resources exist in the community knowing how and where to start your mental health journey is a challenge with over burdened public hospitals, long waitlists and excessive fees at private clinics. Community Mental Health resources are available across Perth, but will only serve patients from within their catchment.
Nicholas came up with this idea after a difficult journey assisting his wife earlier in 2016. After suffering from mental illness her GP referred her to a number of private mental health institutions across Perth. Each failed to respond directly and after subsequent follow up only two agreed to consider her case, one accepting and placing her on a wait list of 6 weeks. Failing this we approached a major hospital ER in the hope that this would help gain access to the physchiatric clinic at the hospital. After a 12 hour wait in a triage bed no placement could be found. In the following days ongoing phone calls to the hospital resulted in the discovery of community mental health. Unfortunately we fell outside the catchment of the CMH service we were referred to, but eventually found our local Community Mental Health clinic and began a successful journey to recovery. Where we should have been directed to a Community Mental Health clinic on day 1 it took over 2 weeks of reaching out to find our entry point into a mental health plan.
Knowing how difficult it is to initially ask for help we devised a dataset and mobile application to send willing patients to the right place, first time.
Mental Help offers a simple 3 button design with the options "I need", "Near me" and "Emergency".
I need brings up a categorised list of mental health linked conditions and opens to a list of services.
Near me is a map interface centering on the user location or allows for an address search. This includes the datasets for Emergency Hospital catchments, Community Mental Health catchments, Emergency Hospital locations and Community Mental Health locations.
Emergency will bring up a listing of emergency, mental health emergency and lifeline phone numbers, selecting a service then opening the smartphone dialling application.
Our intention is to assist those looking to ask for help to avoid the early hurdles and roadblocks that may be deterring them from seeking professional help.