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Product updates

Lift Up Your Loved Ones

Most of us know teenagers or young adults who struggle with stress, sadness, worry or even more serious mental health issues. We want to be there for them, but that can be hard. How many times have you thought to yourself, “I don’t know how to help them with this”? Or heard them say, “Mama, you just don’t get it,” or, “That therapist doesn’t get me, I’m not going back!” The truth is, sometimes our kids would rather talk to their peers than to us about what’s going on with them.

What if you could connect your kid with a peer who has gone through their own mental health struggles, and has been trained to help others?

Imagine setting your kid up with someone to talk to who is a little ahead of them in their life journey and can provide emotional support, teach skills, and impart knowledge from their life experiences. That is the power of peer support—it’s a chance for someone who is struggling to learn from someone else who is living or has lived their same truth. At Flourish Labs, we believe in peer support because we know it works.

We set up peers.net to make it easier and faster for young people to access support. On our secure online platform, they can book confidential 1 on 1 video sessions with a peer supporter within 48 hours.  They can choose a peer supporter who ‘gets it’ because they have experience of similar mental health struggles, and/or share their identity. All our peer supporters are Gen Z, fully trained and certified in peer support, and supervised by our experienced staff. We are currently offering services to people between the ages of 18 and 30, and we’re working on expanding to more ages.

With our newly launched gift service, you can now buy peer support sessions and send them to someone you love. You can buy just one session for them to try it, or buy a bundle and get a discount. It’s as easy as sending someone an Amazon gift card. 

How gifting works:

1. You purchase a session or sessions and include a personal message to the recipient 

2. We send an email to the recipient with a unique code 

3. They use the code to book a session on peers.net and get support

The gifting feature was inspired by parents, but it’s for anyone. If you are a parent, auntie, fairy godmother or friend of someone who could benefit from better mental health support, head over to peers.net and send them the gift of peer support!

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Flourish Labs Product updates

Introducing peers.net, a new mental health support network for college students

I was going to start this post with the data. Over 50 millions Americans have a mental health diagnosis. Over half of them get no care at all. Only 30% get therapy.  Because they can’t afford it, because their insurance doesn’t cover it, because of stigma, because they live in a county without a single psychologist (that’s 75% of Americans), because the demand for therapy is growing faster than we can train therapists, because waitlists are getting longer. Suicide is the second cause of death among teenagers and young adults. 60% of college students have mental health challenges. 60% of LGBTQ+ youth who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it. There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a mental health crisis, especially among young people.

Sources: SAMHSA National Survey, Bureau of Labor

I was then going to talk about how we need new solutions, like digital therapeutics and new drugs. That we need to train more people in mental health care, not just experts with Master and PhD degrees. That peer support – people with lived experience of mental health challenges supporting others in their community – is an overlooked solution to the mental health crisis. All of this is true, but it felt like yet another article about mental health, indistinguishable from all the others I’ve been reading.

As I was sitting on the sofa chewing my pencil, my husband looked at me and said, “You’re overthinking this. You need to write it from the heart. What do you want to say?”

What I really want to say is this: You are not alone

Behind all those statistics are real people, like my husband who has been living with bipolar since we first met at university. People who can’t see a way out of their suffering, who blame themselves, who worry their loved ones, who are feeling alone in their pain. Our families and friends, mine and yours.

If you are suffering, I want you to know: You are not alone. Your pain is real, and there are others who have been in that dark cave and have found their way out of it and sometimes, back into it again. People who’ve learned what it takes to pull themselves out of that cave and ask for help. 

We want to make it easier for you to share your pain and your story with others who’ve been there. To let them help carry your load because it’s too much for you to carry right now. You deserve this help. 

Our peer supporters will support you, one human being to another. They are uniquely qualified to do this because they’ve dealt with mental health challenges themselves, and are in recovery. Our peer supporters bring a variety of life experiences, from struggling with depression or body image to identifying as pansexual or Latinx. They will share their stories of growth and resilience. They won’t judge you and they’re not trying to change you, because they know that you are complete just as you are. Rather, they’re here to listen and to guide you through things that you may not feel equipped to deal with on your own. They will help you find strengths that you didn’t know you have.

Our website and our service certainly aren’t perfect; they’re what tech people call a ‘beta product’. We embrace the imperfections, because we know they will get better as we get feedback from our first users. We’ve built them with care: Our telehealth platform is HIPAA compliant and secure. Our peer supporters are trained to a  state certification level. Our head of peer support, Ally, met with every single supporter last week to see if they’re ready, and to provide them the support they may need.

Find your supporters

https://peers.net/supporters

If you would like to talk to a caring human being about something that’s going on in your life, we have wonderful peer supporters on our peers.net platform who are eager to be there for you. Not only have they gone through training and earned their certification, but they’ve also chosen to show up every day and be vulnerable to help you. 

When we asked them why they wanted to become peer supporters, here is what they said:

“I want to be the person I needed when I was younger.” 

“If it weren’t for the few people who were able to meet me where I was at mentally in my early twenties, I likely never would have healed. I can only hope to give that back to somebody who needs it in the same way.”

“I’m here because you matter. I know what it’s like to feel as if you’re drowning in your suffering and struggles with no room to breathe. I believe in you and your ability to heal and grow and love. You don’t have to do it alone.”

Some are just as nervous as you are right now. One said in our group chat, “I’m worried that nobody is going to book a session with me”. The others rallied around, reassuring her and making her feel heard – giving each other peer support!

So what are you waiting for? 

We hope you’ll join us in this journey. peers.net is now available for 18-30 year olds. Give peers.net a try and see how it feels to talk to someone who gets you.

It might not look like much now, but it’s the beginning of a revolution.

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Flourish Labs Product updates

My summer internship at Flourish Labs: Designing a new feature and gaining real-world experiences that count

About this time last year, Flourish Labs released an early beta version of myala, an app that helps you keep track of the ups and downs of your mind. I was introduced to myala by Active Minds. At the time, Flourish Labs didn’t yet have an official intern program, but I started to work informally with Obi to gather user feedback from other students, and iterated to make the app better. In the beginning, we focused on how to improve the reports because they fell short of user expectations of what the app should do for them. We made it easier for users to see how their different factors change over time by presenting Check-in data in a line chart, and added a detailed sleep report for those who have connected their wearables. You can read more about this in my blog post here. This summer, I joined Flourish Labs full time as a product intern and got to design a new app feature from scratch.

How we designed our new notes tag feature

One of the features in the app is the ability to take a note, either at the end of a Check-in or at any time by tapping on ‘Add a note’ on the homescreen. When we analyzed the engagement data, we found that the average note written by a user was about 14 words long, and about one in three users submitted a note with each check-in they completed. It was important to us that users can easily add a note about how they are feeling and that they do not feel like it is a burden to add in some more information after completing a Check-in. To make it even easier to take a note, we decided to develop a feature that allowed users to submit a note about how they are feeling without needing to type in the free-hand text box. 

To start with, I wrote a Product Requirement Document (PRD) for the notes feature. The purpose of the PRD was to clarify the goals for the feature, provide input for our designer for the visual design, and help focus our engineers on solving the right problem. Writing a PRD was a lot tougher than writing an essay for school because of how detailed each section has to be. The good news is that it is a living document, so with feedback from others on the team and a lot of revisions, it started to come together. You can see my final version here. After figuring out the outline for the feature, it was time to do some user research. We had four college interns at Flourish Labs this summer, so I was able to tap into their collective minds and work closely with them to further spec out the details. We also got input from our scientific advisors at Stanford and mental health measurement experts at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. 

Next, I sent the PRD over to our designer Charles who was able to actualize our ideas. His designs prompted discussions about how many mood tags there should be, the order they should be in, and how they should be arranged on the page. After we agreed on the design, I presented our ideas to the engineering team. A few weeks later, the first version of the feature got released on our internal build and it was so gratifying to see it live. After fixing some bugs and making further improvements, the feature was released to the public! I’m looking forward to getting feedback from our users!

Move the slider to see how much faster we’ve made adding notes. Now, users can also tap on hashtags that best describe their current mood.

New in Check-ins: Measuring Flourishing

During my internship I also worked on a new Check-in feature, a flourishing survey. We’ve always had daily Check-ins to help you track your mood and other factors such as your motivation, sleep, mental focus and social interactions and see how they fluctuate on a daily basis. Our advisor, Stanford professor Dr. Manpreet Singh, suggested that we should also measure more directly whether someone is flourishing or not – after all, that’s our company name! Dr. Singh and one of her students, Cody Abbey, did a review of the flourishing literature and recommended that we use a measurement approach developed by the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University. We now offer a survey once a month where users can answer questions such as “I feel the things I do in my life are worthwhile.” and “I am satisfied with life as a whole these days.” which get summarized into a Flourishing factor.

Once a month, we offer a Flourishing survey.
This new factor is shown in Check-in reports. It only shows up in the Year view since the questions are monthly, not daily.

Real-world experiences that count

Looking back on the past few months at Flourish Labs, I witnessed how the work I did truly had an impact on our product.  Over this past summer, I learned how to design product features, develop websites using no-code tools, and work collaboratively with a variety of cross-functional teams. The start-up experience is unique – I learned things at Flourish Labs that I would not have learned in the classroom, and the skills I learned have equipped me to handle whatever may come next in my career. This summer allowed me to see how hard work turned into a real change in our app, and what I hope is a better experience for our users.

The summer flew by, and I am now back on campus taking computer science classes and leading our Active Minds chapter. September is Suicide Awareness Month, and we just hosted Active Minds’ “Send Silence Packing” exhibit at College Park. Send Silence Packing includes personal stories from individuals who are personally touched by suicide. The stories are a compelling way to raise awareness, and end the silence and stigma surrounding suicide. Hosting it on our campus was a powerful experience for me personally, and a reminder of how important the work of Active Minds and Flourish Labs is.

If you’re interested in an internship or job with Flourish Labs, take a look at our career page at https://flourishlabs.com/careers/

Note: This blogpost was updated on 7 April 2023 to reflect the name change from håp to myala.

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Flourish Labs Product updates

The myala signal: An easier way to reach out and get support from your friends when you need it

Posted on 16 June 2022, updated 7 April 2023
by Anastasia Zorlas, Product & UX Research Intern

My personal journey with mental health started in my senior year of high school. When I first experienced my mental wellness declining, I became very isolated from my support system – to the point where I kept all of my emotions inside and made sure that everyone I cared about stayed out. At the time, I was scared to bring up how poor my mental state was because I didn’t want anyone to worry about me. When I started college, I was lucky to meet people who understood what I was going through and helped me to find the right support. 

Now I’m a fourth-year entrepreneurship and computer science student at Northeastern University. In January I moved to San Francisco for a semester to learn more about startups. I met Obi Felten, who had left Google X to start her company Flourish Labs, focusing on the student mental health crisis.  I was drawn to Obi’s vision of ‘flourishing minds for all’ and her willingness to ask for help from students and people with lived experience of mental health challenges to ensure that the products Flourish Labs makes are what we need and want. I joined her as an intern, excited about the opportunity to make change for students who are struggling with their mental health and might not be as lucky as I’ve been in finding support.

There have been significant strides in the past few years to reduce the social stigma of seeking help if you experience mental health challenges. Yet there are still so many people who are not getting the support they need, when they need it.

Over the past few months, we have been working with groups of students from Northeastern University and our partner Active Minds to evolve the myala app. myala started out last September as a self-tracking app, helping you understand the ups and downs of your mind. It also offered quick access to crisis counsellors from Crisis Text Line

But sometimes you’re not in crisis, you just want someone to talk to. I know from personal experience how hard it can be to reach out to a friend or family member for help when I’m feeling low. Who do I contact? What do I say to them?

In one of our design workshops with Northeastern students in the Bay Area, we discussed how difficult it can be to reach out for help exactly when you need it most.

We brainstormed ways to break down this barrier, and got inspired by the bat-signal beckoning Batman for help!

The first bat-signal
Image credit: DC Comics

Today we’re launching the myala signal, which makes it easier to reach out and get support from your friends when you need it. Here is how it works:

  1. In the support section of the myala app, you can invite your friends or family to be part of your support team. After they accept, they appear in your support team list. You can add or remove supporters at any time.
  2. You can customize the text message that myala sends out to your friends when you ask for support. 
  3. When you want support, all you need to do is tap the myala signal button in the app. myala sends a text message to each person on your support team with your message, asking them to get in touch with you. 

Next time you are feeling down and want someone to talk to, send out a myala signal! 

The myala signal is not intended to replace crisis support. If you’re in a crisis and want an immediate response, please contact 988.

How we designed the myala signal with students, for students

In my internship, I learnt a lot about the process from idea to product feature launching in the app. Here is how we did it:

Co-designing with Northeastern students

1. In our design workshop, we brainstormed how a bat-signal might manifest in the håp app.

Bat signal brainstorm

2. We created a storyboard of the user experience.

Bat signal storyboard

3. We drew flow diagrams and a paper prototype with screen wireframes made of giant Post-It notes.

Paper flow & wireframes

4. After the workshop, I worked with Nathan to transfer our paper designs into flows and wireframes in Figma, our user interface design tool. We discussed the flows and wireframes with our designer and our engineering team, and made some adjustments.

Figma flows & wireframes

4. Our designer Charles turned our wireframes into screen designs for our engineering team to implement.

5. After our engineers built the feature, we tested an internal build with a small group of testers to make sure it worked properly.

Today we’re releasing the app with the new myala signal feature to the public, and we can’t wait to get your feedback!

myala is now freely available to all students

myala was launched last September in a closed beta test with a few hundred trusted testers, mostly Active Minds members and Northeastern students. We are hugely grateful to our testers who gave us plenty of feedback on how to improve and evolve the app. 

Starting today, we are making the myala app freely available to any student over the age of 16 studying in the US. You just need an email address ending in .edu to sign into the app. As a myala user, you can invite friends and family to use myala with your personal referral link, even if they are not a student. Go to settings/refer a friend to share the app.

myala is still very much a work in progress. We welcome your feedback as we continue to design with students, for students. You can give feedback at any time by tapping the feedback button in the top right corner of the app, it looks like a speech bubble.

If you want to get more actively involved, we’ll be running more focus groups, online surveys and design workshops in the summer and fall. I’m staying on at Flourish Labs to do a coop placement for the rest of the year working on user experience research and product development, so look out for an invite from me to participate!

Coming soon: Peer supporter training in partnership with Youth Era

Starting this summer, Flourish Labs is partnering with Youth Era to offer peer support training for students. Youth Era is a nonprofit based in Eugene, Oregon who have been empowering teenagers and young adults with peer support for over a decade. Flourish Labs will be offering students the opportunity to work as a peer supporter during their studies after they successfully complete the training. We’re excited to bring peer support to more college students across the US.

Learn more at https://myala.app or download myala from the App Store or Google Play. 

If you already use myala, the app will prompt you to update to the new version of the app with the myala signal. To manually update, go to the App Store or Google Play and tap ‘update’.

Learn more about peer supporter training and sign up at https://peers.net/give-support

Note: This blogpost was updated on 7 April 2023 to reflect the name change from håp to myala.

#mentalhealth #studentmentalhealth #livedexperience #peersupport #usercentereddesign #BuildInTheOpen

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Flourish Labs Product updates

Designing with students, for students: A new release of the myala app, informed by your feedback

Posted on 21 February 2022, updated 7 April 2023
by Nathan Blanken, Product & UX Intern 

I am a sophomore computer science major at the University of Maryland, College Park. I am also the President of the Active Minds chapter at UMD. I have been working as an intern with the Flourish Labs team over the past few months to help improve myala and give my perspective as a student.

Last September we launched the first version of myala to a small group of trusted testers. We knew the app wasn’t perfect, but we wanted to get it in the hands of students sooner rather than later to get real feedback from real users. Since then we have received hundreds of bug reports and feature suggestions through the feedback form in the app. We also ran focus groups and online surveys in November and December. We got a lot of feedback, both positive and constructive, and were able to incorporate many of the suggestions into this new release.

A myala Check-in consists of about a dozen questions on different factors that affect your mental wellbeing and health such as your mood, calmness, focus, motivation, socialization and how you feel about your sleep. Think of a myala ‘Check-in’ as a twice daily activity, just like brushing your teeth. It only takes about a minute. 

Check-ins have been by far the most popular feature within myala, with over 3,600 completed. Check-ins got mostly positive ratings and comments in our user research.

“I like that it keeps track of how I am doing so I don’t necessarily need to go out of my way to journal about it. I don’t always have a ton of free time so this is nice because it is quick and easy.” 

“I like that it helps me to check in with myself and see how I am feeling. I like that I can see Check-ins from the past.”

“Sometimes Check-ins accidentally fall out of my routine.”

“How much has your thinking slowed? can be interpreted positively or negatively, which is not necessarily helpful to people who are looking at the question from a more objective lens. How should this question be interpreted? Is it good to have slower or faster thinking?”

We’ve been iterating the Check-in user experience to make improvements such as randomizing the order that the questions are presented, where the slider starts, and how responses are stored so you can complete a Check-in even if you don’t have an internet connection. 

We are still figuring out how to help you make Check-ins a daily habit. You can customize the reminder time for morning and evening in Your Settings/Check-in reminders. Tap the wrench icon on the bottom right of the myala app to get to Your Settings. Some users haven’t been receiving notifications from myala to prompt them, which makes it easy to forget to do a Check-in. If you are not getting notifications, please check the permissions on your iPhone or Android phone.

We are also revisiting the wording of some of the questions, and will swap out some that are less useful or confusing in a future release.

Overall, it seems that Check-ins are working well for you. Becky Fein from Active Minds wrote a great article about how Check-ins have been useful for her.

myala now connects to Apple Watch

One of the unique features of myala is that it allows you to see data from your wearable device alongside the data you enter in Check-ins. Version 1 only supported Fitbit and Oura. Many users – myself included – wanted to connect Apple Watch, and I’m pleased to report that this latest release of myala integrates with Apple Watch. You can now see your sleep data from your Apple Watch directly in myala.

Some users were unaware that you can connect a wearable to myala, so we’re now including information about how to connect a wearable device in the welcome emails and the Help section.

The Your Data reports needed a complete redesign

Once you complete a Check-in, you are taken to the Your Data section of the app. You can also access this by tapping on the geometric symbol on the bottom nav of the app.

In V1, reports were split into “Mind Data” reports for the Check-in data and “Body Data” reports for data coming from wearables. They showed a simple zero to 10 score of each factor, with shading corresponding to the scores. There was a feature to compare two different factors such as mood and calm or sleep and motivation, but it was buried deep on the bottom of the reports and you couldn’t compare more than two.

The feedback we received about version 1 of the reports was blunt: They were not working. Users found the reports hard to read, and they didn’t provide enough insights. We tried displaying a summary on the top, but the algorithm wasn’t working well, so we took it out again for now.

I really like the different colors that are being used. However, I do not know what each means. It is difficult to understand how to read the Mind Data reports.”

“I’m not sure what the numbers mean.”

“Add ability to customize the timespan that can be viewed for reports (day, week, month, year)”

“A line graph could be more beneficial in viewing decline in mood, sleep, focus, etc. patterns.”

We appreciate the constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement!

We went back to the drawing board and made some key design decisions based on the user feedback: to focus on trends over time, comparisons between factors, and enable you to see how your sleep impacts your day-to-day mental wellbeing.

We’re excited to show you the completely redesigned reports. If you click on the Your Data tab at the bottom of the myala app, you will first see a new Check-in report section. The data from your Check-ins is displayed in a line chart showing trends over time. If you complete at least one Check-in a day, you will get a continuous trend line. Sleep questions are only asked in the morning Check-in, so don’t miss that one!

By default, you will see the “Week” view which shows you your responses from the prior seven days. If you select “Month” or “Year”, you will see data from the past 28 days or last 12 months, respectively. On any of these you can swipe left to see previous time periods.

myala breaks down your Check-in report by 7 factors that relate to your mental health and wellbeing:

  • Mood – How up or down you feel.
  • Calmness – How calm or anxious you feel.
  • Focus – How clear-headed and focused you feel.
  • Motivation – How you feel about your ability to take initiative, how enthusiastic and satisfied you feel.
  • Sleep – How you feel about your sleep quality.
  • Socialization – How you see yourself around others and your social interactions.
  • Physical – How you feel your psychological state may be impacting your body and vice versa.

You can understand your data in more depth by comparing two or more factors. For example, you can compare how your mood is changing versus your sleep. Tap a factor button to toggle it on and off in the chart.

New Sleep report based on wearable data

The V1 “Body Data” report showed average scores for sleep quality, activity and heart rate, which users found not very useful or actionable.

In the redesign we chose to focus on sleep, which has a big impact on mental health. Sleep duration is difficult to self-assess accurately, so the wearable data is useful in addition to how you rate your sleep in your morning Check-in.

The new sleep report will only show data if you have connected a wearable. If you have an Apple Watch, Fitbit, or Oura ring, you can now connect it to myala. Tap the wrench icon on the bottom right of the app to go to Your Settings/Wearable devices. Once you connect your wearable, the last day of data will be automatically loaded into the sleep report so you can start to view different aspects of your sleep. 

In the top chart of the sleep report, myala shows you the average duration of sleep for the nights that you wore your wearable device. Similar to the check-in report, you can select week, month, or year and swipe left or right to change the dates shown.

Right below you will see a line chart showing the times you fell asleep and woke up as indicated by the sun and moon icons. A consistent bedtime helps to improve sleep, so this is an actionable insight.

The new sleep charts are really helpful for me because they allow me to easily compare how much sleep I get each night with the results from my Check-ins. Being able to see real sleep data from my wearable device and see how that impacted my day-to-day mood or calmness is really important to me.

New Notes report

In V1 of the app, you could make a diary note at the end of a Check-in, or any time by tapping on the ‘add a note’ link on the home screen. If you like to journal, you will probably agree with me when I say that this is super useful. It is hard to remember details about how I felt during the day if it was more than just a few days ago, so having it written in the notes is a good way to keep track of it.

However, V1 didn’t have a way to display the notes yet, and our users noticed!

“I want the function to keep track of my notes and diaries.

We’ve fixed this in the new release.

At the bottom of the Your Data page is now one of my favorite parts of myala: the ability to view all of the notes you took. The notes section is particularly helpful because you can refer to these notes and then you can scroll up and find your Check-in or sleep report data to see how your results matched up with how you felt that day. It is so convenient that all of this is in the same place.

What’s next?

When we asked users how much they liked using the myala app, the overall feedback was positive.

“I think this app is off to a really good start. I really like the simplicity and intelligence that has been integrated into it.”

“I am enjoying the app so far and feel grateful for the opportunity to engage in the app’s development.”

But many of you weren’t sure yet if you would continue to use myala in the future, because it wasn’t useful enough yet.

“I haven’t figured out why it is useful to me.”

“I haven’t gotten enough analytics from the app to justify the use.”

We hope that the new reports are one step closer to making myala useful to you.

When we asked what would most likely make you continue to use myala in the future, the most requested feature was peer support. 

“I’m really excited about the peer support function.”

So that’s what we’re working on next!

We’re just getting started on the design of the peer support feature. If you would like to participate in one of our focus groups to brainstorm with us, you can sign up here.

I have seen first hand how the team at Flourish Labs is working incredibly hard to provide the best possible user experience, and quickly iterating to implement user feedback from the students using the app. 

Thanks again to everyone who provided feedback. We are so excited for you all to see this new version of myala and have it be a part of your daily routine to keep track of your mental wellbeing. We look forward to the next round of feedback, please keep it coming! Be sure to keep an eye out for future blog posts and releases as we strive to make myala better for you.

If you already use myala, go to the App Store or Google Play and tap ‘update’ to get the new version of the app.

Note: This blogpost was updated on 7 April 2023 to reflect the name change from håp to myala.

Categories
Product updates

Introducing myala: a self-tracking app for the mind that fosters human connection

Posted on 8 September 2021, updated 7 April 2023
by Obi Felten, Founder & CEO of Flourish Labs

Three months ago I left my job in a big tech company to set up Flourish Labs, a purpose-driven startup using cutting edge mental health science and technology to foster good mental health. Our mission: Flourishing minds for all, starting with students.

Today we’re launching the beta version of myala, an app that helps you understand the ups and downs of your mind. myala is for everyone, whether you are flourishing or languishing right now. It’s using technology that you likely have with you at all times: a smartphone and a wearable device.  

myala empowers you with your data to help you gain more emotional self-awareness

The myala app encourages you to regularly check in with your feelings, your mood and other factors such as your motivation, sleep, mental focus and social interactions.

Think of a myala ‘Check-in’ as a twice daily activity, just like brushing your teeth. It only takes about a minute (and you could probably do it while you are brushing your teeth if you’re pressed for time).

You can instantly view your data in easy to understand reports, charting how the factors that affect your mental health and wellbeing change over time. 

Unlike simple mood diary apps, myala can also integrate your sleep, activity and heart rate data if you have a wearable and choose to connect it to myala. This is optional; you can use myala with just a smartphone. We currently support Fitbit and Oura, and will add more wearables soon.

You control what you share with myala. myala empowers you with your data to help you gain more emotional self-awareness.

myala brings you human connection when it’s most important for you

In addition to self-tracking, myala is being designed to foster support from others. During 18 months of lockdowns and physical distancing from friends, extended family and co-workers, we have all experienced how vital human connection is for good mental health.

In the beta version released today, myala gives you instant access to free, 24/7 crisis support. With the tap of a button, you can text with a trained Crisis Text Line counselor. (Updated 7 April 2023: The app now refers users to 988, the mental health crisis line)

You can also view mental health and wellbeing tips and resources from Active Minds.

If you are a student at one of our pilot colleges, the app will show you mental health and wellbeing resources that are available on your campus. 

Your support

Soon, myala will allow you to share some of your data with a small number of people of your choosing. These could be friends, family or others in the myala community who want to support you. Unlike anonymous peer support platforms, myala facilitates ongoing connections with people you know and trust. myala reduces the burden of reaching out to get or give help by notifying your supporters, and encouraging them to get in touch when it looks like you might need it. Or if you’re doing well at the moment, the myala support notification might just serve as a reminder that they haven’t caught up with you in a while and it’s time for a chat.

You control who you share with. myala brings you human connection when it’s most important for you.

myala is being built with students, for students

College students are our first audience for myala. During our pilot, myala is available only via our partners or by referral. 

myala, like all of us, is a work in progress.  We’re releasing it as a beta app today because we want to get early feedback from students and colleges on what we’ve built so far, and get input on the parts we’re building next. 

If you are a student, you can get early access to myala and help myala get better by joining our Trusted Tester program. We have a limited number of slots, so please bear with us if we don’t get back to you straight away.

Each screen of the app has a ‘feedback’ icon on it. For each app release, we will share how we’ve addressed feedback from testers, so you get to see how you are helping to improve myala first hand. 

Bring myala to your college

We are inviting a small number of colleges to actively take part in our pilot during the 2021/22 academic year. We are looking for innovators who want to offer the opportunity to their students and staff to test and help evolve the product. We’d especially love to work with community colleges and HBCUs.

If you are a student, you can bring myala to your college as an Ambassador.

If you are faculty or staff, please get in touch to explore how we could include your college in our pilot. 

Project myala is a collaboration between a tech startup, nonprofits and academics

We have come together to work on myala because we share a vision of a future where more people flourish in a world of good mental health and wellbeing. 

Flourish Labs, Inc.

Flourish Labs is a purpose-driven technology startup building the app and technology platform with a small but mighty team and the help of a multi-faceted advisory board. 

Active Minds is the leading nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for young adults. Led by founder Alison Malmon, they are our co-design and outreach partner.

Youth Era is a global leader in empowering young people and creating breakthroughs in the systems that serve them. Through peer support and technology, Youth Era equips young people with tools to help themselves and their peers. They are designing a bespoke training program for myala members who want to become supporters.

Crisis Text Line provides free, high quality crisis support through text messaging. Trained, compassionate Crisis Text Line crisis counselors are available 24/7 for any crisis, not just suicide. (Update 7 April 2023: The app now points to 988.)

If you are an individual or foundation interested in supporting the work of our nonprofit partners or the research study with a grant, please get in touch.

Each partner in our multi-disciplinary team brings their energy, unique experience and insight to myala, and I’m excited and grateful every day to be working with them. We invite you to bring your own experience to myala by joining us on the journey as a Trusted Tester, myala Ambassador or pilot college.

You can learn more at myala.app. We can’t wait to hear what you think of myala and your ideas on how to make it work for you.

Note: This blogpost was updated on 7 April 2023 to reflect the name change from håp to myala.