New App Opens Worldwide Conversation on Mental Health and Suicide - Dispatch Weekly

October 9, 2016 - Reading time: 7 minutes

A new app-based research project by Australian nonprofit organization called Spur Projects, aims to ignite the conversation around mental health and suicide around the world by collecting the moods of millions of people around the globe during 10-16 October.

The project is an extension of a 2014 pilot study that asked ‘How is Australia Feeling?’ collecting over 20,000 submissions over 6 days.

The “How is the World Feeling?” will run for one week. Those who wish to participate can download the app free for iOS or Android.

“How is the World Feeling?” App

Photo Credit: Spur Projects

The Australian nonprofit organization Spur Projects wants to get 7 million participants to tap in their feelings over one week this month to start raising the conversation on mental health.

The data will be able to be researched in order to generate trends and clues on the global disease that affects one in four people, or around 450 million people (WHO, 2016).

The website states, “Suicide is a worldwide epidemic with over 1 million men and women taking their own lives each year.”

Sharing Data and Self-Reflection

The app hopes to get people talking, sharing their own data on social media, and drawing in on a worldwide conversation.

The app also allows participants to reflect on their own feelings on mental health, whilst providing tools and resources for sufferers.

Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day was first celebrated in 1992 as an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health.

Each October 10 is World Mental Health Day and every year there is a theme around mental health. This year’s theme is psychological first aid and the support people can provide to those in need.

A Global Issue

Mental health affects an array of people globally:

  • “If we don’t act urgently, by 2030 depression will be the leading illness globally,” according to the World Health Organization.
  • 80 percent of the people that have symptoms of clinical depression are not receiving any specific treatment for their depression in the US (
  • More than 40% of countries have no mental health policy and over 30% have no mental health program (WHO)

Mood Tracker

Photo Credit:

“How is the World Feeling?” officially finishes on October 16th and participants can continue to use the app as a mood tracker.

The massive survey aims to collect over 70 million emotions and is the largest democratic mental health survey in the world.

The scale of data allows for a vast range of demographics and geography to be recorded, providing detailed clues and trends within mental illness and who it affects.

The project organizers write: “what’s more interesting, from a data perspective, is ‘when’ and ‘why’ participants are feeling certain emotions.”

Detailed Information and Trends on Mental Health

The project organizers wrote:

“The app can tell us information like: ‘Men between the ages of 18-22 are most anxious on weekday mornings between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. when commuting to work, whereas women tend to peak in anxiety in the middle of the day and more prominently at the start of the week.”

To be part of the conversation download the app free for iOS or Android.

What can be done to promote mental health issues at school and in the workforce? Is the fear of discrimination too strong for individuals to share their problems?

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.