After being a victim of bullying for years, a 16-year-old Saskatoon student has developed a smartphone app to help other young people who find themselves in the same situation.
Kelli Lemstra joined 650 CKOM’s John Gormley on Monday to discuss “The Daily Difference,” an app which offers a number of self-help modules and resources for bullying victims.
She said her experience with bullying began at a very young age, and the issues started to follow her home as students became more familiar with technology.
“The bullying kind of started when I was in second grade, but it got really bad when I was in grades six and seven because that’s when everyone started getting cell phones,” she said. “There’s no way to really get away from it.”
She said The Daily Difference includes eight self-help modules to offer young people advice for dealing with anxiety, self-harm, depressive mood, suicidal thoughts, bullying, peer problems, nutrition and exercise.
The app also includes a journal to help users track their progress through the educational modules. It also includes a “calm-down kit,” which teaches breathing and relaxation techniques to help manage anxiety, as well as daily acts of kindness which can help foster a positive outlook.
Lemstra said she worked with her father, Dr. Mark Lemstra, to develop the content for the app and also got advice from a pediatrician and a school social worker. The content was then reviewed by psychologists, psychiatrists, police, teachers, family doctors and her teenage peers. She then partnered with a development company to convert the project into the interactive app.
“Most of the feedback has been really, really positive,” she said. “I’ve got a lot of messages from people I didn’t know who were telling me that this app has helped them, or it has helped their friends or their family.”
The Daily Difference can be downloaded for free on the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.