"Mental health should be valued and understood as a key that allows us to unlock a wide range of health and social advantages. When this resource is damaged, it leaves us unable to reach our collective potential."

Mental Health Foundation
Case Study (Digital Development): The sidekick app
The sidekick app was co-created by TheAppLab and Noctis and spun-out as a nonprofit and community-run asset.

The sidekick iPhone and iPad app is a collection of interactive exercises, tools and tips to help boost mental wellbeing. The app enables users to build a personalised strategy for managing their mental health.

By aggregating a broad range of wellbeing exercises and content, it recognises that everyone has diverse needs and should have access to personalised support, tailored to their own situation. It creates a safe and private space for users to support their mental wellbeing. The app is free for the user and keeps user data totally private.

Launched by social entrepreneurs James Shrager of TheAppLab and Matthew Halstead of Noctis, the app was conceived when these two friends had an honest conversation about how they were struggling with their own mental health and wanted to do something about it and better help themselves.
As someone who suffered with burnout and severe anxiety between 2017 and 2019, I struggled with the overwhelming amount of content out there, and having seen a number of health professionals realised that I needed to use a combination of techniques to support my recovery. So we created sidekick in response to this. You set out your goals and the app points you to a manageable and digestible set of content to support your individual needs that becomes increasingly personalised as you use it."
(James Shrager, TheAppLab)
The nonprofit sidekick community harnesses the collective power of collaboration across the mental health and wellness worlds to create tools, organise information and encourage positive conversations about mental health.
The sidekick concept has been in development for over a year, but recognising the mental strain being placed on us all due to Covid-19, we decided to launch it sooner rather than later to support as many people as possible in such frightening times. We believe that a combination of personalised wellbeing exercises, tailored to our own situations, can help us manage our mental health better through this period, and beyond.
(Matthew Halstead, Noctis)
Through conversations on the sidekick stories podcast, the community demonstrates that anyone can be affected by mental-ill health. Encouraging people to have open and honest conversations can help break the stigma of mental health; the journey to positive wellbeing should be a source of pride, not stigma. You can learn more about the sidekick community here.
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