In 2017, HMA worked with stem4 as part of NHS England’s Digital Development Lab to design and develop Calm Harm, an app designed to help teenagers resist or manage the urge to self-harm which uses the basic principles of an evidence-based therapy called Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). Calm Harm has now been downloaded over 800,000 times globally and was one of the first mental health apps published on the NHS App Library.

Following the incredible success of Calm Harm, stem4 applied for a Comic Relief/Paul Hamlyn Foundation Tech for Good grant to fund the development of a new app to help teenagers manage their anxiety. The application process was extremely competitive with 119 charities applying to the fund. From these applications, Comic Relief created a longlist of 50 and assessed the top 22 and we’re delighted that ‘Clear Fear’ was one of the 13 projects that was ultimately funded.

Clear Fear - App for Anxiety | HMA

Around 25% of 8 year olds and 21.7% of 17 year olds report some form of anxiety. We also know from feedback that some use Calm Harm to manage their anxiety rather than any self-harm behaviours.  This helped us to identify a transferable user base that would receive greater benefit from a more relevant Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based intervention such as Clear Fear.

We’ve worked with a group of teenagers throughout the project so far, requesting their feedback on desired outputs, user journeys, visual concepts, security/privacy, user experience and tone of voice.  Being able to run a co-creation process of this nature is very much in line with our focus on user experience design and this group’s engagement with this project has been invaluable.

Clear Fear - App for Anxiety | HMA

Our developers are now working hard to bring Clear Fear to life whilst we continue to work with stem4’s CEO and consultant clinical psychologist Dr Nihara Krause and digital innovation facilitators mHabitat on the clinical safety assessment of the app in preparation for submission to the NHS App Library.

The Clear Fear app is planned for beta release during National Stress Week in November 2018. Watch this space!