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Cultural Conversations: Friends come together to raise awareness about mental health with app

Posted at 9:01 AM, Apr 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-02 09:02:01-04

INDIANAPOLIS — There’s a new app out allowing smartphone users to check in on friends and family while raising mental health awareness during the pandemic.

The "U Good?" app opens the cultural conversation about mental health in minority communities. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on many people’s mental health and it’s not always easy to talk about it.

“In the last year I’ve been losing people left and right,” said Ali Gates.

Ali Gates is a co-founder of the U Good? app. He says his heart was heavy and even when he tried to shut the world out one friend wouldn’t let him.

“When Evans checked in on me, I felt that there was a sense of sort of a light bulb moment that went off," said Gates.

That friend was Evans Anyanwu the other co-founder of the app. In standing by each other the friends stumbled upon a concept that is taking off.

“The app allows you to say a lot, without saying a lot. And that's a part of Black culture. This was intentional. Like when we walk in a room as Black folks, you know, a head nod even says a lot,” said Evans Anyanwu.

Every time you launch the app, it checks in on you. Its going to say, "what's your mood today?" Red means you're not in a good mood. Yellow means that you're in an okay mood and green means you're in a good mood. You can double-tap on the notification just like you would on Instagram, from there you’ll be able to send a response.

“The replies have been something that we spent a great deal of time, sort of thinking about what replies are needed,” said Gates.

They say the app doesn’t pry, it’s a subtle but effective approach to checking in.

“We allow the person to do what our culture sometimes doesn’t allow us to do which is like fully express,” said Anyanwu.

The replies were selected with the help of mental health experts.