Konnect: R U OK? creates app to increase moments of joy and connection in time for world happiness day
Encouraging people to spend more time with their friends and family is the driving-force behind a new tool developed by suicide prevention charity R U OK? and funded by Virgin Mobile Australia.
The mobile app, ‘Konnect’, was developed in response to an R U OK? national survey that revealed around half of Australians spend two hours or less of their weekly downtime connecting with the people who matter to them. A concerning fact according to the world’s longest study of happiness, the Harvard Study of Adult Development. The study illustrates that by embracing the community and investing in our relationships helps us live longer, and be happier.
In a 2017 Harvard Gazette article, Robert Waldinger Director of the study, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School said, “The surprising finding (of the study) is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships have a powerful influence on our health,
“Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.”
R U OK? CEO Brendan Maher said the motivation behind the app was the need to get more people connecting and starting conversations with a simple tool that could be referred to at any time.
“In today’s world, mobile devices are a key platform to increase connections with most of us having a device at hand every day of the year.
“This app serves as a reminder of the many ways in which we can spend more time with those who matter to us, any day of the year, and check in when they’re struggling with life.
“The app challenges people to connect with their family and friends in new and different ways. R U OK?’s Conversation Partner, Virgin Mobile was the perfect business to join forces with to launch the new app – encouraging people to use their mobile phones as a force for good.
“We encourage those who are searching for ways to strengthen their relationships and support loved ones through tough times to consider the app for ideas on how to be more ‘Konnected’ than ever before,” said Maher.
The app is suitable for all ages and incorporates an interactive element in which it challenges the user to accept ways of connecting with others. The examples provided, such as ‘Back in touch’, ‘Walkie talkie’ and ‘Food + Friends’, are a perfect way to create more moments of happiness and genuine connections through practical actions they can take to offer support when it’s needed.
R U OK? Campaign Director Katherine Newton said the aim of the app is to encourage users to invest more time in their relationships and learn R U OK?’s four conversation steps: Ask R U OK?, Listen, Encourage action and Check in.
“We want more people to stay connected and have regular R U OK? conversations,” she said. “Konnect can help people proactively reach out to the people in their world and maintain stronger relationships. When our relationships are strong we’re more likely to see the signs someone is struggling with life, and have the trust and confidence to start a conversation with that person.”
(Source: R U OK?)