Third Sector Awards 2019: Digital Innovation of the Year - stem4 for Calm Harm app

Awarded to a charity or social enterprise that is pushing the boundaries of digital technology to reach supporters, donors, or beneficiaries

Category sponsored by the National Funding Scheme

What is the aim of the technology?

According to NHS Digital, 12 per cent of children between the ages of five and 19 present with self-harm. The mental health charity stem4’s Calm Harm app has been developed to enable young people to resist or manage the urge to self-harm.

How does it work?

Dr Nihara Krause, a consultant clinical psychologist and expert in self-harm, created the Calm Harm app using ideas from evidence-based therapy Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. The app uses a range of targeted five or 15-minute activities to help alter thoughts, emotions and behaviours, supporting young people to "ride the wave" of emotion they experience. The activities come under four headings: Distract, Comfort, Express Yourself and Release, while a breathing technique helps to reduce symptoms of anxiety. The app also helps users start to understand the underlying trigger factors, allows them to track their progress and signposts them to further help.

What did it achieve?

The app has been downloaded more than 927,000 times in about 171 countries, with 590,499 people using it more than once. More than nine in ten (93 per cent) of users have reported a reduction in the urge to self-harm after completing an activity. Calm Harm has met NHS governance requirements and is included on the NHS Apps Library. It is regularly recommended by health professionals and has consistently positive feedback from users


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