Second-year Biomedical Sciences student, Hadassah Buechner, won funding in the IT Innovation Challenge in 2015 to develop her idea for an App to help individuals who self-harm. This week sees the launch of the App, called Self-Heal.

self-heal app flyerHadassah won £15,000 in the IT Innovation Challenge in 2015 to develop Self-Heal. The App became available in 2016 and is now supported by Oxford University Innovation. It is being launched at an event in Oxford on 22 May, ‘Building Communities in Mental Health: Technologies and Beyond’, hosted by It Gets Brighter, an organisation that invites people from around the world to end the silence about mental illness by publishing short video messages of hope.

Self-Heal is a free tool that guides the management of self-injury. It combines location-based contact details to encourage students to seek support, information and resources on self-harm, with management techniques derived from dialectical behavioural therapy. There is also a gallery of motivational and funny images to distract and boost mood. The App is free to use and has no ads.

Hadassah commented, ‘A recent NHS England Survey showed that almost 1 in 5 women aged 16-24 have self-harmed, but self-harm is not just limited to women, and deliberate cutting has been found to be the most common mode of self-harm before suicide.’

The launch event takes place at Rhodes House on South Parks Road on Monday 22 May, from 6pm. Inspirational speakers will talk about working to improve the experiences of people with mental health issues, and the Oxford Mental Health Support Network will provide an overview of mental health options in Oxford. The full programme and booking for tickets are available through Eventbrite

More information about Self-Heal is available on its website.