notOK App

Mental health SOS to make reaching out for help easier

Photo of Bug and Bee Lucas
7 6

Written by

Website or social media url(s) (optional): IG: @notOKapp Facebook: notOKapp Twitter: @notOKapp

Date Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

Last year, during my freshman year of high school, I began fainting. I fainted daily and ended up missing over 200 classes. I became "that girl" and was bullied and threatened by boys who wanted to harm me if they found me unconscious. I was eventually diagnosed with POTS- Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome- but the damage was already done. I was terrified to leave my room and eventually spiraled into a deep depression which included self harm and even a suicide attempt. It was at this lowest moment that I came up with notOK App. After waking the next morning, I told Charlie, my brother, about my idea and he got to work on it immediately planning it out and wire framing it.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

20-25% of adults and youth suffer from some form of mental illness, according the CDC, and many people find it difficult to ask for help. Fatigue, stigma, and mental struggles are all barriers to getting help.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

notOK App bridges the gap and takes the guesswork out of asking for help when people are struggling. With the simple push of a button, notOK send a text message to the user's pre-selected contacts, along with their GPS location that says, "Hey, I'm notOK! Call me, text me, or come check up on me."

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

We've had numerous people message us about how notOK has helped them start conversations with their friends and family about their mental health status. We've also heard from people with medical conditions, such as hemophilia, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and lupus, who have downloaded our app as an extra safety precaution.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

notOK App doesn't require both users and their trusted contacts to download the app. Only the people struggling need to download the app, without having the burden fall on their trusted contacts. With one press of a button, notOK sends a text message alerting the contacts. It's simple, easy, and takes all of the guesswork out of having to think about the words to write and send if someone wants to send a text by themselves.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

So far, Hannah and Charlie Lucas have won the National Alliance on Mental Illness GA's Young Leader Award as well as the Mental Health America mPower Award for the creation of notOK App and for their leadership in speaking out about mental health to both educate and to destigmatize mental illness. Our videos have reached over 700K viewers cumulatively and we've have thousands of downloads. We have also been endorsed by Lady Gaga's BORN THIS WAY FOUNDATION.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Our next step is to create partnerships with health care companies, school districts, and corporations to include notOK App within the wellness plans. We'd also like to translate notOK to Spanish, French, and Japanese as we expand globally.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

We need funding to update the app so we can make it available globally.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Sales

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

We are currently working with school counselors to create notOK groups to raise awareness about mental health and to incorporate self care techniques to combat stress and anxiety-related problems in teens.

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Word of mouth

Attachments (1)


Join the conversation:

Photo of Caroline Robinson

YES! You guys are an inspiration! This is awesome work. I am a teacher in the middle of working with seniors at Julia Hansen's school on their own change making projects. Would you be willing to Skype/FaceTime with our class some time to answer a few questions about how you got started?

Photo of Bug and Bee Lucas

Hi! We'd love to. Can you send an email to:

View all comments