Victoria creator launches mental health app

Rootd has more than 50,000 downloads since its prelaunch

On a day now famous for talking about mental health, a local app developer launches one that promises relief in your pocket. Rootd, a female-founded mental health app for those struggling with panic attacks and anxiety officially launched Jan. 30.

Greater Victoria resident Ania Wysocka was first inspired by a lack of resources that combine effective exercises and accessibility with modern engaging design, and by the need to reduce the stigma felt by those who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.

“Rootd’s approachable and fun design helps people feel comfortable having the app open on their screen any time or place they feel they need to use it. We hope that normalizing our interactions with these type of resources will help reduce stigma,” she said.

A cute and caring but slightly disgruntled monster named Ron guides users through lessons and sessions for immediate and long-term relief. Features include lessons to understand anxiety and panic attacks, a panic button, a deep breathing tool, guided and active meditation, as well as soothing nature sounds.

RELATED: On Bell Let’s Talk Day, psychologist says let’s also listen

“I don’t really suffer from anxiety myself but I use it for the breathing techniques,” said Devan Chiappetta McCannel, a fan of the app and friend of the developer. Though he finds it educational as a boyfriend to someone who has anxiety. “I find it helpful to understand what they’re going through. There are lessons on what anxiety is and what causes it. It’s helpful.”

The Rootd app pre-launched on World Mental Health Day 2017 for iOS devices with limited features. About 50,000 organic downloads to date “validated” that the bootstrapped, self-funded app hit a target.

RELATED: Let’s Talk: Messages of hope from Black Press Victoria

“It showed me that it was something that people needed,” she said. The hundreds of comments buoyed both her work and spirit. They poured in from young women around the world sharing stories of how the app helped them learn to rely on partners, return to work, and in at least one case “graduated” from Rootd but still carried it as a safeguard.

“I love reading messages and reviews from users and working out how we can incorporate feedback into the app to make it even better. The need for a tool like Rootd has been validated through the number of downloads, and hearing positive feedback from users around the world shows that it’s capable of working and making a difference in users’ lives.”

Rootd is available worldwide as a free download on iOS and Android devices. Learn more at rootd.io or download the app on GooglePlay or iTunes.

“I’ve also started offering subscriptions for businesses,” she said, adding ideally she would like it to be completely free for those who need it.



c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Greater Victoria is a tough market, even for former homeowners

Seniors often squeezed out of the housing market due to limited income

Garry Oak Meadow Marathon underway at Cattle Point

Every Sunday in February and March Friends of Uplands Park is seeking volunteers

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read