Vancouver Island – The school year is coming to a close and students may be feeling more stressed than usual. Island Health encourages youth and young adults to download the BoosterBuddy app for virtual support through exam periods and all year long.
BoosterBuddy is celebrating two wonderful milestones: more than 200,000 people have downloaded the mental health and wellness app, and Coast Capital Savings has provided a third gift of $70,560 towards the app development. Coast Capital Savings’ commitment to BoosterBuddy was initiated through the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.
BoosterBuddy is designed for youth and young adults who are living with stress, depression and anxiety. Users choose a cartoon “buddy” – a fox, raccoon or rabbit – who offers virtual tips to support self-care. The “buddy” has practical, daily check-ins to encourage positive habits and support for more serious mental health challenges.
BoosterBuddy was designed by mental health professionals at Island Health and a youth design team. The app features coping tools, sets medication reminders, sends users on quests, encourages exercise and real-life social interactions and offers incentives through virtual coin rewards and progression of levels. The app was developed in 2014 and has been continuously updated ever since.
“The design team and Island Health have done a great job developing an app to help young people with an excellent mental health and wellness resource,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “The app is another example of successful youth creativity and innovation. It is great to have partners like Coast Capital Savings supporting this work.”
“BoosterBuddy was the first-of-its kind gamified app with a focus on promoting positive mental health,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health Board Chair. “The app works on a number of levels – it’s fun, positive and engaging and it’s also a powerfully effective tool for people living with mental health challenges.”
With their latest gift, Coast Capital Savings has now invested more than $330,000 to fully fund the BoosterBuddy program.
“We are so pleased to see how successful the BoosterBuddy program is,” said Maureen Young, Coast Capital Savings Director of Community Leadership. “At Coast Capital Savings we support youth and mental health programs are a key focus of our investment strategy. BoosterBuddy has proven to be a popular tool for young people in managing their stress, anxiety and depression which is why we are thrilled to continue the partnership with the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.”
“Through its support of BoosterBuddy over the years, Coast Capital Savings has exemplified what it means to be a community leader, and a global change maker,” said Melanie Mahlman, Victoria Hospitals Foundation President & CEO. “Their commitment has helped ensure BoosterBuddy can reach those who need it most, youth and adults alike, on Vancouver Island, in our province, in Canada, and around the world. We are deeply grateful.”
You can download BoosterBuddy at the App Store or Google Play and there’s more information about the app at www.viha.ca/boosterbuddy
Gaelle van Erp
Victoria Hospitals Foundation
Coast Capital Savings