Sunday, June 21, 2015

NAMI AIR anonymous support app

Through their magazine, i learned about NAMI's app, NAMI AIR. It lets you post anonymously, more anonymously than a blog. Much more anonymously than Facebook. But similar to Facebook, you can read posts from other people, only without a name or profile picture. Like Facebook, you can "like" something. But what about the sad posts? NAMI AIR is a step ahead of Facebook because it has a button like the "like" button that is the "hug" button. And because you don't know them and they don't know you and they can't even trace your hugs to your posts, it isn't awkward to hug a stranger.

There are two more options for responses. One is to leave a hashtag comment. There is a list of phrases or words for you to choose from.

The other option is the "me too" button, which in turn allows you to write a post "inspired" by the one you just said "me too" about. You can trace backwards or forwards through inspired posts.

This creates something like a perpetually available support group, and comes with a similar cost/benefit gamble; will the things people say encourage me or bring me down? Will some well-meaning person accidentally say something offensive? Will I get some much needed encouragement or ideas for managing my illness better?

They do have it divided into two groups, one for people who have mental illness and one for family members. Although you can switch between groups (they specifically recognize that you can qualify for both groups) you cannot post in more than one group at a time. I like this, because, while I'm sure family members sometimes need to discuss how hard it is to live with someone with a mental illness, this is not something i need to dwell on right now.

In conclusion, i really like this app. It has room for improvement, and i expect they will improve it. But for now it is one more resource to help get me through a rough time, and for that i am grateful.

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