Have you ever typed up a message to a friend, asking them to send some good vibes your way because you’re really struggling at the moment, only to delete it before sending? (Hand raised!) I don’t know if it’s the fear of vulnerability that holds me back, or the self-talk of, Oh, I’m fine… it’s really no big deal, when maybe it is actually a pretty big deal.

The horrible truth is that the suicide rate in the United States is increasing. Just last week, my own family experienced the unthinkable when our teenage son’s best friend committed suicide. The pain and heartbreak his family and friends are experiencing is nearly unbearable.

If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue where the support of friends and family is crucial to your wellbeing, please go download the notOK app right now.

Related: Worried about your tween or teen’s mental wellbeing? Avoid this popular app.

notOK app: add your closest friends and family to your Trusted Circle of contacts

notOK app: Send an SOS message to your trusted circle when you need help the most

Here’s how it works. You upload the contact info of your closest friends and family into your “trusted circle” in the app. Then, if you’re feeling like you need their help, all you have to do is tap the “notOK” button.

It’s a panic button that sends an SOS message to your trusted circle with your GPS location included. That way your circle can get to you and help you. They can love you and hug on you and give you the support you need, when you need it most.

Once the issue has been resolved, another message is sent: “Kate is OK. Thanks for being in her trusted circle.”

One important message I’d give to parents of teens and tweens who will use this app: choose that trusted circle of friends and family together. And if your child receives a request to be in the trusted circle, make sure they’re committed (and prepared) to follow through if they receive an SOS alert.

We are so in need easy, creative solutions for teens with mental health concerns like this app, which by the way was invented and developed by two teenagers who have experienced the need for this app themselves.Teens helping teens (and adults, too!) so they don’t have to suffer alone. It gives me so much hope for our future.

Depression and anxiety can inhibit your ability to ask for help when you need it. Download the notOK app, so you don’t even have to ask. Help is just a tap away.

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