Everything looks different today, and right now, the world is not a happy place. The COVID 19 virus took away our friends and close ones and staying inside our houses may sometimes sound like the biggest challenge when we are left alone with our thoughts.
The fear and uncertainty of tomorrow alongside the lack of social interaction threatens our mental health, so we decided to come up with a solution to keep our minds balanced.
It is proven that people are becoming more and more psychologically affected by the environment, or at least they are becoming more conscious about it. More than 300 million people feel depressed around the world, over 250 million people have some sort of anxiety disorder. In February 2020, when the virus just started spreading more, the number of clinical anxiety grew with 19%, and just a month after, in March this percentage grew by 12%. Also, a study made on populations from 3 countries: USA, UK, and Germany, shows that over 30% of the population is worried about mental health because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Everyone feels stressed or burned out from time to time, we all get sad or feel hopeless, maybe some of us have trouble with sleeping, or some just want to improve and become more aware of ourselves. Either way, we are all alike, we want to be happy!
This is UPsy, a platform that takes mental health scales to a more personal level, getting to know the user’s moods based on the tests taken and helping him overcome mental health challenges by recommending him videos, books, music, movies, exercises for relaxation and stress relief and so on.
The main focus of the app is to minimize the influence of COVID-19 pandemic on people’s state of mind, their feelings regarding lockdown or social distancing and how do they cope with certain situations.
The functionality and relevance of the platform are not entirely tied to the coronavirus crisis. Mental health issues are a continuous struggle, therefore UPsy could be a permanent solution, giving aid to those in need even after the end of this challenging period.
Our idea is a professional tool made for every type of individual who struggles with powerful emotions such as anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, low self-esteem. We are here for everyone who wants to feel better and keep feeling that way. We do not promise to resolve severe mental problems, for that we can redirect you to a professional in the domain.
How we built it
On the development part, we tried to use the most suited technologies for the project’s purpose, but in the end, one single bug gave us a really hard time. Using React and NodeJS can be hard sometimes and highly rewarding when it works. At the moment we have a login system that you can use by adding the following data < firstname.lastname@example.org pass:123456 > and add the link/test after the login. We also integrated a Machine Learning model into the platform for accurate analysis results but we ran out of time for developing the frontend part. Even if we didn’t manage to have the front-end we did work a lot on the back-end system.
Challenges we ran into
Our biggest challenge was definitely building the web platform from scratch, starting from just an idea with potential, and bringing it to life as much as we could in 2 days. This meant dozens of hours of hacking in front of the computer, meetings, strategies, mentorship sessions & huge quantities of coffee to bring everyone’s perspective into the light.
Another challenge that we overcame was the part of gathering the best psychological questionnaires and creating a special one for this particular current situation of the worldwide pandemic. For this, we received expert help from psychologists of West University in Timisoara. Since we believe in the community power, we also connected during the hackathon using the Slack platform with a couple of Skill mentors. This way we had access to the best resources.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are grateful that we can contribute somehow to this crisis by helping people understand their emotions, their strengths & vulnerabilities, how to overcome those emotional barriers, and how to remain in that great state of mind. We are proud of our team’s achievements and humbled by the chance to bring a worldwide smile no matter race, sex, religion, or other social-political factors. :)
What we learned
We, ourselves, learned a lot about people's emotions and after talks with experts in Psychology, we were able to include and create the best questionnaires.
We understood how challenging it is to organize your work as efficiently as possible in order to finish everything in just two days.
Our conclusion? Everything is possible if you have a group of extremely dedicated people who want to make this world a better place!
What's next for UPsy
We are looking forward to some further discussions with Universities, Psychology departments, Health mentors, and also The National Health department to support our idea. We plan on improving our website for helping research groups to build a database and statistics on people's feelings during the pandemic, in order to find the best solutions. UPsy is a professional tool. It can be used individually or by companies, it may serve as a research instrument or even as a recommendation source for activities and hobbies.
Manager, doctor, student, professor, wife/husband, unemployed. No matter your status, we will still care about you and your state of mind even after the pandemic period ends. We will always be by your side!
Share a smile with UPsy!