MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Seventeen-year-old Hannah Lucas and her 14-year-old brother Charlie took the stage at the Manova Health Summit in Minneapolis Tuesday to speak to a room full of medical and health experts about their new app, but they didn’t want anyone to brush them off because of their ages.
“If a kid created the cure for cancer, wouldn’t we all want to use it?” Hannah said.
The teens from Atlanta, Georgia came to Minneapolis to talk about curing mental illness by simply using an app.
“When you think about it, it’s just a tool that connects you instantly with your support group,” Hannah said.
The app is called NotOkay. It’s a button that the user can press anytime they’re in a crisis from anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts or suffering from a chronic illness. When the button is pushed, an alert goes out to five selected contacts in your phone and provides those trusted contacts with your location.
Hannah came up with the idea from personal experience. She has a chronic illness that causes her to faint often, and with little warning.
“I was bullied. It was awful to say the least. I lived in a constant state of fear,” Hannah said.
So, she turned to her brother Charlie.
“My exact first words were, ‘Let’s go!'” Charlie said.
Charlie was the brains behind the development of the app.
“Ever since I was about 7, I’ve been teaching myself how to program,” Charlie said.
The siblings launched NotOkay in January of 2018.
“So far, we have over 85,000 users,” Hannah said.
Which is the number of lives they are helping and possibly saving.
The NotOkay app is free because the siblings created a nonprofit to help fund it, but they and have a big need for sponsors. Right now, Hannah is using her college savings to fund the development of the app.