SPONSORED: Kevin McKenzie from Alive and Kicking Goals! in the Kimberley knows firsthand the mental health challenges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples face.
“Working and living in the Kimberley WA, has taught me that mental illness can happen to anyone. Young, old, men, women, fit and strong, not so fit and strong — mental illness does not discriminate.”
Recognising the need to offer new and innovative ways to support and build good social and emotional wellbeing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, McKenzie has also been involved in the design, development and testing of iBobbly — a social and emotional wellbeing app designed by mob, for mob.
iBobbly is now freely available and McKenzie, along with several other committed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including Tiarnee Schafer, a Kalkadoon women from Mt Isa, are trying to get iBobbly into the hands of the people it could help.
Completely private and confidential, iBobbly helps by showing ways to manage thoughts and feelings and helps you decide what’s important in your life.
Don’t wait until things are bad
“We wanted to get the message out to mob not to wait until things are bad. Reach out to your local Aboriginal Medical Service for support and use iBobbly for tips on some small steps you can take to help you feel better,” said Schafer.
“It’s an app you can use every day, or just occasionally, to check in on yourself.”
Designed for mob
Everything that is seen, heard and experienced in the app is shaped by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members to ensure that iBobbly is culturally informed and safe.
It’s designed for easy access, use and understanding. iBobbly’s full of images, videos and stories, drawn and created by local artists from Broome located in the West Kimberley in the north of Western Australia. The language used was chosen, and voiceover talent also recorded, in Broome by young Aboriginal people.
iBobbly has also been scientifically tested with over 460 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“It was well received by mob who tried it, and feedback was positive,” confirmed Schafer.
Community feedback on iBobbly
“For me, iBobbly is a huge barrier breaker. It’s free, private, confidential, culturally appropriate and engaging. Being designed by mob for mob, it can give you the same feeling as yarning with a close family member,” McKenzie said.
“Having iBobbly at your fingertips can allow you to take that first step towards healing yourself without shame while gaining self confidence in improving your thoughts and feelings to get back on that strengthening road.”
Recent feedback supports this.
“As a young Whadjuk Noongar woman who is working [in healthcare] I find this app invaluable. I regularly boast about this app to my colleagues and recommend it to my clients. It is culturally appropriate and engages our mob in a way that we need — stories and arts. I cannot speak higher of this,” said one user.
iBobbly can go anywhere
“Whether you’re 15, 25, 35 or older, this app can be where you want it, when you want, and is completely private,” Schafer said.
“You’re in control once you’ve downloaded it to your phone.
“When you’ve got it on your smart phone you can use it anywhere. You can even access it if you run out of data or you’re remote with no internet or data.”
So, if you’re not feeling the best and want to strengthen your social and emotional wellbeing, why not give iBobbly a go? It might just be the thing you’re looking for to feel deadly again.
Jump on the Apple App store or Google Play store to download iBobbly for free now.