Famn, Swedish for "in my arms"
In times of struggle you are not always alone. The moments when you are at your weakest there are loved ones around you that want to help and want to understand. It is hard to start those conversations and know how to approach a situation especially when they were there during it all. Most families are not prepared to cope with learning their loved one is struggling with their mental health. It can be physically and emotionally trying, and can make us feel vulnerable to the opinions and judgments of others. However, the 2019 Happiness Index found that the more willing someone is to talk about their mental health issues with their partner, the happier they will be — and that’s a key component about being in a fulfilling, loving relationship.
What it does
Famn is here to help a user communicate with their partner/ family member. It starts by evaluating what happened and the feelings surrounding it on a personal level. Once the user has had time to process their own state, they then can prepare to have a conversation with their partner with what they had written. Overall our focus is to give guidance, provide education, and encourage healthy conversation in order to help destigmatise.
How I built it
Famn is a web application built using vue.js, node.js, and Firebase. The front-end built with node.js and vue.js allows users to log in to their created account where Firebase authenticates the user's account. From there they are able to start logging their experience that will lead them to their conversation. We focused on a mobile first approach as most users are more likely to have access to mobile devices wherever they might be.
Challenges I ran into
Keeping an app simple but still effective for such a broad topic was the biggest challenge. When thinking of possibilities and what would best help the someone during those trying times it can be hard not go too far into clinical diagnosis or offer something that is already done. We spent a lot of time as a team really narrowing down what we needed to do and what was the most important for an MVP. This app came from personal experience of several members on our team so putting that into a platform needed some back to it. Overall, time was the biggest challenge for understanding, research, designing, and creating.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We accomplished something that does not diagnose but is there as a guiding tool. Not only is it from what people can guess is the best way to communicate but we used professional advice from our licensed marital and family therapist and our mentors to make sure it was approached in the right way. Although the idea is centered around users approaching this from a couple, it is also usable for the single user just to walk through an event or feelings.
What I learned
We learned that mental health is very difficult to grasp in just one approach. There is Mental Health and Mental Illness which can lead you in completely different directions when you are trying to build a solution. Everyone has mental health and should be taking care of themselves everyday.
What's next for Famn
Building the whole end to end out. We have the guiding questions and flow established but we want the whole project to reflect an app that someone would enjoy and use daily. The stage we are at now is very much a prototyped solution so more time in order to make sure we have created an enjoyable solution for everyone.