Our mutual close friend and their family were recently diagnosed with COVID-19. During the period of their illness, they found themself feeling lonelier than ever. Losing sight of life's purpose and hope as one of their family members had to go to the hospital, one of us reached out our hand in any way we could. Just by talking to a friend; it lifted their spirit and gave them the courage to stay resilient through tough times. After this event, we realize not only that COVID-19 has a drastic effect on physical health but also mental health. Along with the challenges of lockdown procedures, there are many people like our friend who are trapped in their homes with barely anyone to personally communicate with. This inspired us to develop a solution to help others, like our friend, who are feeling down or mentally affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What it does

#FindMyHope is a flexible tool with an intuitive and simple interface that streamlines the ability to find others in your local area who may be struggling in similar situations or want to help those who are struggling. Find people who share your struggles, search for locations in need of volunteers or supplies, and inform yourself of the latest policies deployed by your local government officials.

How we built it

We imagined an app that functions similarly to maps applications that you might be familiar with and decided to start there. We developed aspects of the app using Swift and worked on using React Native to create a multi-platform (iOS, Android, PC/Mac) application to maximize our reach. *Some features were planned but not implemented.

Challenges we ran into

Time and resource constraints were some of the main challenges we ran into while developing #FindMyHope. Although we felt pretty confident with our direction with the app design and overall solution, we wanted to gain feedback from a professional who's main expertise dealt with either mental health, app development, or both. Not to mention, each team member was also working full-time during the COVID-19 pandemic and had to make sure everyone was on the same page.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were proud of the great amount of progress we've made as a team of 2 in such a short amount of time. We were satisfied with the general direction and overall design.

What we learned

Although we learned some new ways to design and develop #FindMyHope, we also learned a lot about how impactful communication/social apps are to our mental health. We really took this into consideration with our final design.

What's next for #FindMyHope

We want to keep designing and implementing useful features into #FindMyHope as well as gain more feedback from test users and professionals. We will also look forward to reaching out and collaborating with medical and volunteering institutions to further build trust with our app.

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