Emma Lord
March 23, 2015 10:41 am

It takes a lot to snag an invite to the White House these days, but these four teenage girls who created the stress management app “Safe and Sound” are more than deserving of the trip. Students Chloe Westphal, Marina Stepanov, Stephanie Lopez, Genesis Saucedo and Amanda Arellano all teamed up last year to create the app, which gives teens a portal to discuss stress, anxiety, and depression that they experience, and connect with others who are going through the same thing. The app debuted last year when it won the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, and the students have been making huge strides with its development ever since.

The girls, who connected because they were all students at Tri-Tech Skills Center High School in Kennewick, Wash., said that they were initially inspired to create the app following the Marysville high school shooting by Jayden Fryberg in 2014 that left five students dead.

“The Seattle Times did an article on how he [Fryberg] had been posting his feelings to Twitter for months with no one really listening. This sad example of how serious the situation can get really motivated us to create an app that could prevent this kind of thing in the future,” said Chloe in a statement to The Huffington Post.

Not only can users of the app alert the authorities if they have any doubt about the school’s safety, but the app can help diagnose early symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts. The girls have teamed up with mental health experts to make the app even more fluid and potentially life-saving. The app would be the first of its kind, providing teenagers with a safe space to make their feelings known and acknowledged and prevent tragedies like the Marysville shootings.

“Our hope is that Safe and Sound will be more than just a stress management app, but a light in the darkness that is anxiety and depression,” said Amanda.

(Images from here.)