Imagine you are a young person seeking mental health services - you've made an appointment to speak with someone but there is a waiting period before you can be seen. How can you remain engaged while you wait for your appointment?

headspace, a pilot program that is soon coming to the Bay Area, will offer stand-alone, integrated care sites for young people ages 12-25 to access early mental health supports. Members from headspace recently presented their upcoming program to the volunteer organization Code for San José. Here, they expressed how they want to use technology to improve the services they will be offering to young folks in the area.

After hearing from headspace at our bi-monthly hack night, we spoke directly with the organization to find out more about what might be valuable for them.

We learned that headspace has a maximum 2-week waiting period between scheduling and walking in for an appointment. Knowing this, we decided to create a fun and interactive way to engage young people while they wait for their first appointment at headspace.

What it does

This is a mobile app that will keep young people engaged while they wait for mental health services.

Once a young person has signed up for their first appointment at headspace, they will be able to use this app for 2 weeks to log information about how much they are eating, how much they are sleeping and how they are feeling overall.

This information that is logged from the young person will then be transferred to a web application for counselors at headspace to access. This web application will show counselors a list of upcoming appointments, and provide charts to show how each young person has responded to the logging information.

The experience of logging this information each day, and of counting down until the appointment date has been turned into a game where the user can create an image of their own personal waiting room. After logging their information each day, a menu of in-app items (pets, books, backgrounds, etc.) will be unlocked and the user will have the option to add one icon per day to their waiting room.

Each day, the app will count down the days until the scheduled appointment.

How we built it

iOS, Node

Challenges we ran into

Time constraint

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Being able to connect with headspace and getting their feedback on what would be useful for their program.

What we learned

How important it is to speak with mental health organizations before building something to find out what they need.

What's next for Waiting Room

We will continue to develop this project as members of Code for San José and in partnership with headspace.

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