[Trigger Warning: Suicide, Domestic Abuse, Mental Health]


Rates of childhood abuse, self-harm and mental illness have been rising steadily over the past few years.

  • It is estimated that between 3.3 million and 10 million children are exposed to adult domestic violence each year in the US. [Resource Center on Domestic Violence]
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of dealth for young people ages 10-24 [CDC] and in 2019, 18% or more of high schoolers seriously considered attempting sucide. [America’s Health Rankings]
  • 1 in 6 children in the U.S. have diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorders. Mental health issues, specifically depression and anxiety has increase in young children over time [CDC] and is expected to rise due to immense grief and isolation caused by COVID-19.

We aim to lend a Helping Hands to children who may be struggling, connecting students to their educational support systems including teachers and guidance counselors through periodic socio-emotional check-ins.

Helping Hands hopes to empower K-12 educators to better connect with their students, identify and intervene early in cases of potential emotional distress, abusive and traumatic situations. Educators can provide extra support or connect students to community-based care rather than law enforcement.

Helping Hands can support educators aiming to connect with their students while also providing a safe and nurturing space for children to express their emotions with a support system ready to help.

What it does

Helping Hands is a web-based application that provides two distinct services - one for educators and the other for students.

  1. Educators: can build surveys/check-ins and deploy them to their class of students through their very own admin account. Then, teachers will receive notifications if a student consistently responds in a concerning manner. Teachers will also be able to monitor student profiles and overall survey/check-in statistics.

  2. Student: able to answer questions and submit surveys/check-ins about their social emotional wellbeing that their teachers have deployed for them. They will learn to reflect and express their emotions in a safe setting.

How we built it

  1. Wireframing: We first did some white boarding and designed a database schema to model our solution. Then we created wireframes using Figma.

  2. Design and Accessibility: We designed our application for accessibility including considerations for audio.

  3. User Interview: We conducted a user interview with an 8th grade teacher to learn how to adapt this product to our target audience.

  4. Database Creation: We used Firebase to store our data and handle user authentication.

  5. Web Application Front-End Development: We build out a robust user interface using the Vue.js framework and Vuetify component library.

What we learned

We learned technical skills such as connecting to Firebase and creating a login flow with authentication. We also learned more about the education system and students’ need for mental health resources through online research and interviews with educators.

What's next for Helping Hands

Sending alerts directly to the email of a guidance counselor when a student reaches a threshold. We also want to allow teachers to create their own custom survey and check-in questions. We plan to expand the data that the teachers can see by building out a dashboard.






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