University of Michigan students create app to tackle mental health issues

Three quarters of mental health cases begin at age 24.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – About three quarters of all mental illness cases begin by age 24, and stigma is the number one reason why people don’t seek help. But two friends from the University of Michigan are trying to change that. Ivanhoe has the details.

There’s a mental health crisis on college campuses, and friends Drew Pilat and Jack Kornet are trying to help. They created a gamified app called Wellnest. It’s goal is to tackle mental health issues, through mindfulness, in a fun way.

“So, we think that if we can make mindfulness more fun and engaging, that it will help people actually start doing this. That they can start working on their mental health like they do their physical health,” shared Drew Pilat, co-founder and COO of Wellnest.

The two work with cognitive scientists to evolve the app’s features. There are things like a mood check, a daily conversation, and voice journaling.

User Mac Realo opens it up almost daily.

“I struggle with my mental health on my own daily basis, and there are times that I even struggle with expressing it to other people. So Wellnest offers me the space to be able to reflect and share my thoughts and emotions,” explained Realo.

According to Inside Higher Ed, three in five students are worried about their mental health. And six in ten who sought help said it was difficult to find. The creators say Wellnest fills that void and it’s as simple as opening up apps like YouTube, Netflix and Tik Tok.

“These people who might be struggling with just day to day things that everyone struggles with, our app has been able to make a big improvement in their life and make them feel better about things,” said Jack Kornet, co-founder and chief design officer at Wellnest.

Downloading the app is free but can pay dividends for a lifetime.

Drew and Jack are working with video game designers and a team of psychologists to evolve the look and function of Wellnest.

Contributors to this news report include: Hillary Rubin, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; and Thaad Sabolboro, Videographer.