TWO FRIENDS who grew up in Stroud have teamed up to create the very first mental health app for those who have chronic conditions.

With 15 million people living in the UK with chronic health conditions and nearly 30 per cent of those developing mental health problems, Emma Amoscato and Faye Ingram have teamed up to launch Smile App, which provides expert-led practical support and daily tools to support the emotional rollercoaster of living with chronic conditions.

Designed to support a range of conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, asthma and long covid, the app is now available on Android and IoS, with the aim to support patients and carers who are struggling with the stress, overwhelm or ongoing worry of a difficult diagnosis.

After meeting in year 7 at Stroud High School, Emma - who did work experience at at the SNJ and has now relocated to Bedfordshire - and Faye - who still resides in Stroud - became firm friends.

Stroud News and Journal: It was after Emma experience of anxiety and PTSD that developed from her own family’s health challenges, that she decided to train in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health at Kings’ College London. 

Emma wanted to support others going through similar situations with the creation of Smile, which incorporates video and audio tracks from a range of clinical experts, live workshops. reflection tools to support people's wellbeing and even content from people with lived experience of different conditions.

It also uses mood tracking and daily check-ins to help to understand users’ unique needs and create a personalised toolkit of content, all tailored to the challenges people in this community are facing.

Emma said: “We hope to support as many people as possible living with chronic physical health conditions.

"We cover the topics that other mental health apps don't.

"When going through my own challenges of health problems within my family and the anxiety it brought, I couldn't find anything that really tackled the specific situations we were facing - things like coming to terms with a diagnosis, dealing with waiting times or managing the emotional rollercoaster of chronic health conditions.

Dr Sula Windgassesn, one of the five health psychologists that provides expert advice for Smile users says: “Having a chronic health condition can be really isolating, uncertain and scary.

"Smile puts together evidence based information and strategies to help support all the difficulties.”

One user, Helen Eugene, who is living with endometriosis, early menopause and fibromyalgia said: “If I had this in the early days of my challenges, I don't think my dark days would have been so dark.”