Saskatoon teen creates mental health app for victims of bullying

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Kelli Lemstra says the bullying started in Grade 2.

“I used to be scuffling with the relationships with quite a lot of my mates,” she stated. “It acquired actually onerous when everybody began getting cell telephones which was in Grade 7 and eight.”


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That’s when the 16-year-old stated issues grew to become insufferable.

“(Individuals) have been texting me terrible issues, commenting on all of my social media, making impolite accounts about me, calling me on my cellphone on unknown caller telling me to kill myself,” she stated.

With what Kelli thought was an absence of help from her college, and no solution to make the bullying cease, the teenager and her dad and mom didn’t know the place to show.

“Most fathers would agree that your first job is to maintain your child protected,” Kelli’s dad Mark Lemstra stated. “When you possibly can’t preserve your child protected you don’t really feel like a lot of a father.”

He stated Kelli would rise up to 200 texts per day from individuals telling her to hurt herself.

“There’s a coping half for being a father as effectively,” Mark stated. “I feel you’d favor that this occurs to you than to your daughter. The tough half is there’s not likely any solution to make it cease.”


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In Grade 9, on a very dangerous day in school, she begged her dad to select her up.

“I’m crying in school, I can’t get by way of my lessons, I can’t concentrate on my work,” Kelli stated.

That’s when she considered the concept for a psychological well being app.

Kelli Lemstra hopes her psychological well being app helps others address bullying.

Tyler Schroeder / World Information

“I wished to assist individuals and I knew individuals struggling the identical issues I used to be struggling with was actually essential to me,” she stated.

The app, referred to as “The Day by day Distinction”, took greater than a 12 months to develop and contains eight self-help modules with tips about how to deal with issues like nervousness and despair. There’s a bit for journaling, leisure movies and has concepts for tactics to pay it ahead.

“Her thought was that it must be child pleasant,” Mark stated. “A entire group of individuals was taking a look at it to guarantee that not solely was it clinically warranted, however it was youth pleasant.”

The Daily Difference features eight self-help modules to manage things like anxiety and depression.

The Day by day Distinction options eight self-help modules to handle issues like nervousness and despair.

Tyler Schroeder / World Information

A kind of group members is registered social employee, Kayla Stefan, who labored carefully with Kelli to assist make her imaginative and prescient a actuality. She stated the app is one other avenue for teenagers to entry psychological well being or bullying help.

“Generally children don’t really feel comfy receiving that one-to-one counseling help with psychologists or social staff,” Stefan stated. “It’s only a method that they’ll entry help, really feel protected and comfy.”

She added it may be scary for teenagers to achieve out for help.

“You don’t know if you’re going to be shut down or in the event that they’re going to have the ability to assist or if the issue goes to worsen.”

Kelli admitted the bullying hasn’t utterly subsided, however she is doing higher and credit the app with serving to her cope.

“I’ve undoubtedly discovered easy methods to take care of the negativity,” she stated.

Mark stated he observed over the past 12 months his daughter has been extra open about bullying and easy methods to deal with it.

“I feel the final three to 4 days have been the most effective psychological well being state I’ve seen her be in 4 to 5 years,” he stated.

Kelli’s hope is that others be taught to develop the identical outlook she has now.

“It’s not your fault any individual’s bullying you,” she stated.

“Their actions don’t outline you, it defines who they’re.”

© 2018 World Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.

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