Upstate couple creates interactive app for those battling mental - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate couple creates interactive app for those battling mental health

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Sharpen app. (7/11/17 FOX Carolina) Sharpen app. (7/11/17 FOX Carolina)

It's a potentially revolutionary step forward in helping those battling mental health issues and it's all thanks to one Upstate couple.  The Spartanburg duo, Robyn Hussa Farrell and Tim Farrell developed an app called Sharpen.

Sharpen utilizes the couple's backgrounds in video production and mental health education, and combines them with professional medical advice to develop personal programs for those looking for support. 

"I've seen it in my own family, as so many of us have, I watched a family member die from an addiction, and just as importantly, how hard it was for my family to understand the problem, to know how to help," Tim Farrell said. 

The application helps all age groups struggling with any mental health battle; whether a teenager struggling with an eating disorder or a veteran trying to overcome PTSD. It provides personalized tools, videos, facts sheets and points of local contact to those using the app. 

It breaks it down into four categories: heal, nourish, thrive, cope. It offers help to those who are trying to support the person in need as well.  

"You'll also find topics on what we call building resistance, managing stress, evolving healthy coping skills, understanding how to communicate through conflict and emotion regulation," Robyn Hussa Farrell said. "There are questions to ask providers, there's literally this world, this universe of material all of which has been tested and is evidence-based."

The couple has filmed experts from all walks of the profession, including Upstate Warrior Solutions' Dr. Craig Burnette.
"Twenty two veterans succeed in suicide a day and that is something that we have to reverse," Robyn said.

She has successfully brought mental health programs to K-12 students and now working together, this Upstate couple, is breaking down more mental health barriers, understanding that time and privacy are important.

"We know it takes people 10 years, on average to reach out for help, for a person to be able to sit on their phone in their in their home, by themselves, and see these resources that are available to them then that may help break that time your cycle," Tim Farrell said. 

Help all with just the touch of a screen is what they hope will change lives and minds here in the Upstate and across the nation.  

"If a tool like that was available at the time, I could've made a difference. It would have for a lot of people. We want to make sure that difference is out there now," Tim Farrell  said.

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