RUSH 24 Watermark Creative 12 Edition 5 Headstrong

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Steve Horner
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Adeline Salkeld
  • Kaituhi Matua / Copywriter Lead
    Mark Easterbrook
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Giselle Scott, Cameron Peet, Kim Olive, Frida Lindström, Lavy Reddy
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Dede Putra
  • Client
    University of Auckland

The Headstrong app addresses the pressing issue of youth mental health support in Aotearoa. Recognising that a significant number of secondary school students are experiencing psychological distress without seeking help, the project aims to leverage the extensive time young people spend on devices by providing accessible mental health support and delivering digital resources effectively.

Collaborating with experts in psychology, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and youth mental health, the project team recognised the effectiveness of talking therapies and CBT in improving mental wellbeing. Leveraging this knowledge, the design and build challenge was to deliver a suite of evidence-based CBT tools in an app experience to intervene early in anxiety and depression among young people.

The creative concept incorporates unique avatars as relatable friends and mentors for young people. By creating eight diverse characters representing diverse rangatahi, Headstrong offers a trustworthy, culturally sensitive and authentic environment where teenagers can seek guidance and support.