Youth mental health app ‘first of its kind in Canada’

Cutting edge design appeals to young patients, Island Health says

Take a moment to browse the /r/depression forum on Reddit and the reality becomes immediately clear: today’s youth flock to online mediums to deal with mental illness.

But a new app, thought to be the first of its kind in Canada, is aiming to reach teens in that digital realm when they need it most.

BoosterBuddy uses video game design elements to establish positive habits to mental health, said Drew Barnes, program co-ordinator with Island Health’s mental health and substance use services.

“In our hospital, the goal is to work with youth like a coach, to reconnect them with their school, family, friends, so they can move beyond our care,” Barnes said at the app launch event last week. “When we first proposed this app, we didn’t know if anyone would relate to the idea or where it would go.”

To the surprise of Barnes and clinical lead Lauren Fox, teens in the focus study were enthusiastic about the idea of an app to assist them in their recovery. They wanted a companion, Barnes said, and they wanted it to provide symptom tracking over time, crisis contacts and medication notifications.

Dr. Abraham Rudnick, medical director with Island Health’s mental health and substance use services, said mental health disorders have become the second highest reason for youth admission at Canadian hospitals.

Download BoosterBuddy on any Android or Apple mobile device.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Trio brings roller skating fever to Greater Victoria

Roller Skate Victoria offers workshops, summer camps and more

Westin Bear Mountain hotel sold to local businessman and entrepreneur

Ecoasis will maintain responsibility of golf and tennis operations and developable lands

Public warned of night firing exercises in Saanich after evidence of trespassing

Routine shooting practice to take place at Heals Range from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday

Riders roll to help Island hospices

$240,000 raised so far for this weekend’s seventh annual Cycle of Life Tour

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

Most Read