A reflection on the re;mind journey so far
Updated: Apr 13
With the launch of the re;mind app drawing nearer, I wanted to share where re;mind started and how far we have come already.
re;mind was my reaction to lived experience, not only suffering from PTSD and anxiety after a traumatic event, but to the mental health support currently available for people experiencing trauma and the challenges of recovery.
I saw a gap in the understanding and support of trauma, from identifying symptoms and seeking support, to accessing and learning the tools needed to look after your mental health throughout recovery and beyond.
I believe everyone should have access to the knowledge, support and tools they need to rebuild their lives from trauma.
Each and every day felt like a battle to get through.
Having been caught up in the events surrounding the London Bridge & Borough Market terror attack in 2017, I subsequently struggled with PTSD. Continuously on edge, I had severe flashbacks, panic attacks, problems with sleep and nightmares. The world no longer felt safe and each and every day felt like a battle to survive.
I found it hard to talk about because it felt too unbearable to share what was happening. Family and friends wanted to help but didn’t always understand or know how to help, and I couldn’t communicate what I was experiencing or needed. I lost my sense of self and who I was. I felt completely out of control and I couldn’t do some of the things that used to be routine, easy or fun anymore. I felt guilt, frustration, anger, grief, loss, confusion - a whole rollercoaster of emotions. And underneath it all, I often felt completely lost and isolated.
Accessing NHS support was incredibly difficult, so I accessed private therapy and by chance, later found charity support. It still wasn’t enough.
Outside the therapy room, I really struggled to learn to use the tools I’d been given to manage my mental health. I searched everywhere for a digital tool to help, but nothing met my needs.
It took over 2 years with a lot of trial and error, self-help and perseverance alongside the therapy and charity support to learn to manage my mental health. Once I achieved this, I decided to fuse my personal experience with professional skills from my career in technology, to build re;mind and help make the recovery journey easier for others. 2.6 million people in the UK have diagnosable PTSD and many more have trauma, but only 25% of those affected get any professional support.
Building the solution - developed with input and support from survivors, and clinicians at every stage
We have surveyed over 600 people who self-identify as having trauma and held over 100 hours of research and development conversations with people who have lived experience, clinicians and academic researchers. These conversations have helped us to better understand experiences of mental health support after trauma and what people really need. We have also built relationships with several charities who support people affected by traumatic experiences, including PTSD UK, the Peace Foundation and Suicide & Co.
Recently we graduated from the Digital.Health London Launchpad programme. We have also been supported by the ZincVC Academy, graduated from both the OneTech Ideation and MVP Accelerator programmes, and taken part in the Percy Hobart Fellowship programme run by Public in partnership with the Royal Navy. We’re also members of the Health Foundry Community. These programmes and communities have supported us at different stages of our journey as we have researched, developed and improved our concept and helped to grow a network and community within the startup and digital health spaces.
Our research combined with advice from our dedicated clinical advisor has enabled us to design our app specifically for trauma. We have chosen appropriate psychology frameworks which we were able to build into the self-help app to provide evidence based support.
Having tested and iterated our prototype, we ran a large-scale pilot of the MVP of our app over 3 months with exciting and encouraging results. 85% of users said the app was a major or useful part of their toolkit in looking after their mental health.
The re;mind app
The app is designed for adults, 18+ of any background, who self-identify as having trauma, regardless of whether or not they have a diagnosis of PTSD or C-PTSD or any other mental health condition.
The app provides relief from multiple trauma symptoms during moments of acute distress with grounding tools to hand, day or night. It is a safe space to keep a diary of feelings, symptoms, triggers and reflections, empowering users with insights and informational resources about trauma to help them understand their experiences.
What’s next for re;mind?
If you’d have told me in the early days of my recovery journey where I’d be today and what we’re building now, I would never have believed you. I have a big vision and ambitions for re;mind and how it will change the way we understand and support trauma.
I’m so grateful for everyone who’s been part of this journey so far, who shared their personal or professional insights and expertise, and their time to contribute to re;mind. A huge thank you to the incredible, small but mighty (and growing!) team of people behind re;mind. I’m so proud of where we are today and excited for what’s to come.