According to a study published in the World Psychiatry Journal between 12 and 29 percent of Latin American children of school age suffer from diagnosed or diagnosable mental conditions. Another study
found that in low and middle-income European countries, suicide is the leading cause of death of 10 to 19 year olds. These high numbers demonstrate that not enough is being done to improve the well-being of students on a global level.
ClickCheck app hopefully marks the start of a change to this disturbing trend. Developed by Mustafa Sheikh, a New Zealand hip hop artist, the app’s main goal is boosting students’ mental well-being. ClickCheck, which took around 18 months to develop, will be rolled out at intermediate and secondary schools in New Zealand in the near future.
Sheikh, who comes from a poor background, got the idea for the app after four people he cared about committed suicide. “When we were kids my friends and I would come to school with no lunch or proper clothing … I’ve literally seen fights over a sandwich at school.”
Our source from educalinkAPP.com states: “Mental health issues in children and adolescents can affect both learning and social interactions. Often one of the biggest problems is getting the school to recognise and address such mental health issues. Apps such as ClickCheck can go a long way to addressing this problem. Not only does ClickCheck bring the issue of students’ mental health into the spotlight, but also employs strategies that can get the school involved in helping their pupils.”
The app can be used by schools to send their students fortnightly emails packed with positive messages, as well as keywords that stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine, both hormones credited with releasing good hormones.
ClickCheck also lets schools ask students if there is anything that they can do for them, and submit any issues to a specific teacher or another authority figure at the school. “It’s flipping the script and making it proactive, which is the only way to make a difference, because otherwise we are waiting for something to happen before we provide support,” said Sheikh
The app also offers meme therapy, a feature that lets students access memes if they need a bit of a laugh to help them get through a tough day.
The Australian-born New Zealand musician Stan Walker, who is a firm proponent of ClickCheck, has said that he believes the app will help around 200,000 students on a national level. “There’s been numerous times in my career that I wouldn’t have been successful if I didn’t focus on my mental wellbeing. It’s OK to talk about it and seek help,” he said.
Besides developing ClickCheck, Sheikh was also the mastermind behind Bread, a charity that aimed to inspire young people, particularly those living in poverty. Over the years, he has also volunteered at the Starhip Hospital and has assisted the Auckland Police.
There is little doubt that ClickCheck is a huge step when it comes to promoting mental health. However, only time will tell whether it will be released globally, as well as nationally.
Image Credit: Flickr