In Hand

In Hand is a simple, beautiful and accessible app designed by and for young people to help self-manage mental health and wellbeing.
More than one in ten young people feel unable to leave the house due to anxiety issues, while one in five admits to falling apart emotionally on a regular basis. More than a third often feel anxious about everyday situations and these figures rise considerably for young people who do not have a job and who are not in education.
In 2011, Innovation Labs hosted a hack day, a series of Innovation labs and an incubator to gather ideas on how technology could be used to solve this problem. Over 100 ideas were generated and 7 made it to the final stage, one of which was our In Hand project.
The In Hand co-creation process ran fortnightly sessions over a year, engaging over 20 young people who responded to an open call on social media to get involved. The young people involved were all meeting mental health challenges including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders.
By thinking about perceptions and portrayals of mental health in the media we agreed on a strategy for the app that would focus both on mental health and positive wellbeing. We were very conscious to not include a mention of mental health in the title of the app to avoid any stigma, and wanted users to think of it as something that could be used by anyone, both in moments of crisis and happiness.
In Hand was developed with FACT Liverpool under the guidance of their wonderful Young People and Learning Manager Louise Latter.
It was built by Lee Omar, Steven Hassall, Ben Blackmore and Adam Johnston at Red Ninja Studios.
Many thanks to Nicky Fearon and Mersey Care NHS Trust who provided excellent insight as care providers.
In Hand couldn't have existed without Innovation Labs and funding from Comic Relief and the Nominet Trust.
Our team of young adults made decisions throughout the development process including app name, design, wireframes, language choices, interfaces and colourways. We also developed its branding, marketing plan and launch.
The resulting app is fully customisable and includes music, motivational messages, inspiring images and photography. In Hand responds to how the user is feeling: Great, So-So, Not Good or Awful. Options range from Do Something That Makes You Smile, where a user can share a photograph or listen to music, through to Someone To Call, which includes a crisis link to The Samaritans helpline embedded within the app.

Team Credits

Tor Marie

  • Freelance fashion editor and content creator


  • N


    • Comic Relief

      Comic Relief

      • Charity
    • F

      FACT Liverpool

      • N

        Nominet Trust

        • I

          Innovation Labs

          • M

            Mersey Care NHS

            • R

              Red Ninja


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              Tor Marie
              Freelance fashion editor and content creator