Q1. What is YouROK?
YouROK is the developer of K’Bro is a mobile app designed with evidence-based activities that build emotional resiliency gamified in a way that sustains regular engagement and serves as a real-time, prevention tool to adolescent mental health issues.
Q2. What is Emotional Resiliency?
Emotional resiliency refers to the human ability to adapt in response to adversity and stressful situations. Some people demonstrate more resilience than others. This is largely due to a combination of social and biological factors that shape a person’s emotional state during formative years. In the field of mental health, there is vast amounts of research showing that emotional resiliency allows humans to cope with life events, traumas, and stressors more effectively and to lead a happier life. Such research shows that higher levels of emotional competence (awareness, self-control, and comfort with expression) in children and young teenagers leads to a decreased risk of using hard drugs and behavioral adjustment problems. More importantly, research shows that teens of different backgrounds, family situations, and biological predispositions can increase their emotional resiliency.
Even the more “sensitive” individuals that are likely to let stress and trauma set them back emotionally can be taught to develop emotional resiliency despite their biological predispositions. Therefore, building emotional resilience in teens is essential to healthy development and creating fulfilling lives for future generations. Currently, emotional resilience is just emerging as a topic of conversation with the advent of Social Emotional Literacy programs in some schools. Mental health websites occasionally provide information on how to increase emotional resiliency, but the main access point to these tips for adolescents would be through counseling. Many teens do not attend counseling, because they are undiagnosed, and do not communicate their need for help well. K’Bro not only seeks to help with building emotional resilience, but also communication between adolescents and their parents. K’Bro’s goal is to increase awareness of, and begin discussions about emotional resiliency.
Q3. Why does K’Bro work?
The Am I OK? index users simply acknowledge what emotions (4 out of 12 options) a specific aspect of their life evokes that day instead of having to remember what happened over the past two weeks like most assessment tools. The Am I OK? index interprets the results in easy to understand terms: “not okay” “okay” or “better than okay,” eliminating the jargon found in traditional assessments.
When teens need help acquiring strategies to cope with their negative emotions, they practice peer communication by asking for feedback in the Deal With It! forum. In addition, many teens experience difficult emotions because of turmoil with parents and other authority figures. When teens ask for feedback concerning how to communicate with their parents or teachers, for example, they are acquiring communication strategies that are effective for both peers and superiors. Ultimately, as users develop the ability to effectively communicate their needs while respecting authority figures, they will experience less social and familial distress. Even though there are some minimal risks associated with participation in the trial (such as the potential for cyber bullying or sharing ineffective coping strategies), these risks are outweighed by the participants’ potential to develop important lifelong emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness skills. For issues that cannot be addressed within the app’s features users will be able to text with a trained professional for additional support. If their parent has a subscription the parent will be receiving insights to help improve parent-child engagement.
Q4. What happens if I have serious issues that I share in K’Bro?
K’Bro is smart enough to respond to crisis scenarios that users report in My Tribe sections: Deal With It!, Speak Up? and What’s Up? Such words and phrases as “suicide” or “cutting” will trigger an alert within the app to the user with crisis strategies and other relevant solutions to these more serious issues, at no cost to the user. For those families where the parent has a paid subscription, the parent will receive a weekly email with targeted conversation starter tips based on the child’s issues; if there is cause for concern the parent will receive an immediate alert. In addition to helping teens get through moments of high distress, K’Bro’s artificial intelligence technology lets the app self-regulate such that community managers do not need to individually screen content that is posted within the app. Most importantly, parents will never see the specific comments you make in the app – that will always remain private for your eyes only.
Q5. How much time do I need to play K’Bro to feel better?
If you only used K’Bro 2 minutes a day it would begin to have a positive impact. While daily is ideal, most kids play K’Bro a few times a week.
Q6. Where can I download K’Bro?
Q7. How much does K’Bro cost?
K’Bro is always free to kids. Soon you’ll have the option to make in-app purchases to enhance game play.
Q8. Does K’Bro breed cyber-bullying?
Although technology can breed cyberbullying and social anxiety in users, it can also be utilized to combat emotional problems in large numbers of people, because of its accessibility. K’Bro provides that link between technology and emotional well-being. The few, unlikely psychological risks associated with K’Bro are the potential for cyberbullying and sharing of unhelpful coping mechanisms. Both are unlikely due to the up/down voting system in the app and community managers’ ability to delete offensive users. K’Bro has taken exceptional care through community managers to set a positive and reinforcing tone. Users who abuse the app can have their comments blocked by users or their accounts deleted by community managers.
Q9. Does YouROK take steps to secure my data?