Sapport is an application which was developed to fill the need of anonymity within peer-based mental health support. As the sole developer, I was inspired by multiple factors. Most importantly, my work with empathy in many VR and AR projects has been a significant factor in my personal relationships, and how they can be improved.
From my experiences, many people prefer anonymity over vulnerability. As such, the advanced technology I have worked with inspired my to design this application, which can be used at universities and other large organizations
This application allows its users to take a more casual approach to giving and receiving mental health support. With gamifying elements such as personal avatars and karma points, incentives become both internal and external.
With the app, users can build their own Sapport community, and as trust is built between giving and receiving support and advice, elements of a person’s profile also become more apparent. For instance, users begin with simple avatars, but eventually Sapport profiles slowly give gender, names, and other basic details to their trusted Sapport community.
Through Sapport, we give students and others the opportunity to feel comfort through their vulnerability, as anonymity gives them the protection desired. The building of Sapport communities and slow progression to shared profiles also means that users are able to build vulnerability, a significant and unique feature which will alleviate anxiety for many users.