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The Check-in app helps young people plan a conversation with a friend about their mental health. Learn more about the app, and get information on when it is appropriate to use it, find out what young people thought of it, and read professional advice and young people’s tips for using it in practice.

This tool will assist with:

  • planning how to ask someone about their mental health
  • planning self-care and what to do if they don’t take it well
  • building skills for help-seeking and building healthy support networks.
The check in

About The Check-In

The Check-In app is an app by Beyondblue that aims to give young people skills for asking a friend about their mental health, and offering support.

Guiding you through the process of making a check-in plan, you’re prompted to select where you’ll have the conversation, how you’ll start, what you’ll mention you’ve noticed and how you will offer support. The user can send their check-in plan to themselves or to a friend, and read through tips on how the conversation might go and what to do in different scenarios.

After their conversation, the user can review how it went and get tips on what to do next, including some constructive self-care tips.

Where to access this tool

The Check-in app is free to download and use, for iOS and Android devices.

Download from Google Play

Our young people rated the app ★★★★☆

Our professionals rated the app ★★★★★

This application was rated using the Mobile Application Ratings Scale (MARS).

When to use The Check-In

Most young people would benefit from knowing about the app in the event that they have a friend who needs help.

Specifically, recommend this app to any young person who is hesitant or unsure of how to approach a friend they are worried about. For young people who themselves are experiencing severe emotional distress it would be important to also encourage them to commit to seeking appropriate professional support to follow up after their conversation, either from yourself if appropriate, or an online/telephone service such as the ReachOut.com forums, Lifeline, Headspace or Suicide Callback Service.

What young people thought of The Check-In

Likes

  • The step-by-step layout, very supportive, offered follow up.
  • I loved the way it has 4 stages to plan the conversation, I find that to be very helpful.
  • Under each sub-heading there is an explanation as to why or how a particular step can help the situation.
  • I liked the review at the end that states how you can follow up on your friend or even treat yourself.
  • Its layout and design is smooth, looks good and is easy to navigate. It is made so you use it in a clear, determined way so that no steps are missed.

Dislikes

  • No options while you’re planning for if things go badly, they’re in the tips or follow-up section only.
  • Nothing, I loved it.
  • Nothing because the app achieves what the creators set out to do.

Professionals’ advice on using The Check-In in practice

Introduce this app in a session where a young person has disclosed their concern for someone, or indeed in any session where it is appropriate to discuss providing support to others. You can recommend it as a form of education. Aim to underscore the value of being open to having these sorts of 'check-in' conversations with relevant friends on a regular basis.

Ask them to select the place for the conversation, the questions they might ask and how they’ll offer support, and discuss with you why each might be appropriate for their situation.

Get them to send the check-in plan to themselves using the app or print it off for them. Discuss what they might do if their friend discloses serious concerns and how they could respond.

Ask them to make a plan for when and how they will review the conversation, and what they’ll do to look after themselves afterwards. If the app is on their phone, they can set themselves a reminder to check back in. Make sure they are aware of the support services in the app and where to find them, discussing how and why they might use them.

Tips for introducing the app:

  • Make sure you have taken time to download the app onto your mobile phone or a service mobile device.
  • Explore the app before you introduce it with a young person, so that you are familiar with how it works and how to print or save the check-in plan.
  • First ask if the young person has looked online for tips or advice in the past, and discuss the resources they have found useful.
  • Suggest the app as a way of planning how they’d approach a conversation with the person they’re concerned about, and getting pointers on how they might deal with their friend’s reactions.
  • Use your mobile device to show them the app, and get them to go through the process of planning a check-in.
  • Encourage them to download the app themselves and read through the advice before their conversation.
  • Make sure you plan with the young person how they will practice self-care, and review and reflect on the conversation.
  • Encourage them to use online forums such as ReachOut.com to reflect, review and discuss how things went in a safe peer-supported environment.

Advice from young people

Explain why it is so important to use this app to help and check in with friends.

I would recommend this app to almost everybody because at some stage we will notice our friend going through a tougher time in their life and must be there to support them. I would recommend this app in the classroom to students.

Acknowledgements

This tool was reviewed by Cassandra (19), Damien (22) and Tahlia (15), young people from the ReachOut.com community. Professional advice was provided by Dianne Vella-Brodrick (Psychologist) and Shane Cucow (Youth Worker).

Next steps

  • Try the program first before trying it with your clients.
  • Make sure the app is loaded on your phone or a service mobile device.
  • Discuss how to have conversations with friends, and this app, in your sessions.
  • Encourage them to share their experiences and ask advice in peer forums like the ReachOut Forums.