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Bid to make kids ‘appy in tough times

Posted: 2pm 16 Aug 2021

It has been a tough 18 months for most families – a fact not lost on nine-year-old William Rose who was pondering this, when he decided one night to do something about it.

The youngster from Newport says he saw on TV that ‘people were really sad now’ and came up with the idea to develop an app one night, when trying to get to sleep.

That was a few months ago and since then, he and his mother Shauna have engaged an app designer and plan to release Emotioneeze in the next couple of weeks.

“He said he wanted an app because that’s what kids use these days. Every child has some form of device, phone or ipad,” Shauna says.

“William and I have spent a long time drawing it out. The app designer said to come back with colours, logos and a name. We have tweaked it from there.”

They have worked hard to ensured it suits all learning styles - visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic.

William says he wants children to better understand their emotions and for their parents to be aware of how they are feeling.

“I want to make people happy,” he says.

“I want people to understand their emotions and other people around them to understand what they’re going through.”

The app does just that, teaching children about their feelings while keeping track of their mood and offering links to crisis services such as Kids Helpline and 1300SICK.

There is also capacity, with permission, to allow parents, guidance officers, psychologists and others to monitor a child’s wellbeing.

Putting it to the test

St Paul’s School at Bald Hills will be the first protype school and its Year 11 and 12 students have already provided feedback.

Once testing has been completed William and his mum are keen to roll it out to other schools, who they are hoping will subscribe and make it available to their students.

They want it to help children at risk of falling through the cracks by helping them understand their emotions and giving those in a position to help them useful information.

Shauna is also working with Queensland Police Service, which is keen to promote the app’s use via its mental health liaison officers.

“I really hope it works,” William says.

The Year 4 pupil has learnt plenty from the experience, not only about what it takes to make an app but also about emotions. He says he might like to be an app designer one day and is enjoying seeing it all come together.

“William has a massive heart and he is a deep-thinker,” Shauna says.

“Whatever comes out of his mouth is really well thought out, which is really unusual for a nine-year-old.”

Emotioneeze will be compatible with iphone and android devices. To find out more, search emotioneeze on Instagram or search emotionease in your app store online (in a couple of weeks).

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