My Safe Zone – Anxiety Attack Assistance - Interview with the developer of a fantastic app

Did you have any prior development or coding experience?

I have been working in IT since 1998, starting out when we all thought the worst thing that could happen was computers changing to 2000 would bring the world to its knees - how wrong we were.

What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?

The most challenging aspect was (and I believe always is in app development) finding the right team to help put it together at a cost that meant we could go with as little cost to the user as possible.

The interviewee is Bridget Haley, the brain behind this app. Being an anxiety sufferer and survivor, she literally walked in the shoes of the sufferers and planned to help through an awesome app. RockIT88 (Pty) Ltd is a South African IT consulting agency based North of Durban in the beautiful town of Ballito. We help small companies build big dreams by providing assistance with Web Development, Social Media Management, and App Development. We also consult with large corporates with their Data reporting requirements. We can be found at www.rockit88.co.za

Name a few of your favorite apps and reason you love them.

Making Life Easier:
Sixty60 is a local South African app called It is a grocery delivery app for a local supermarket. Your groceries delivered in 60 Minutes.
It is super simple to use, it has been fantastic during the lockdown and it has a great tagline.
https://www.checkers.co.za/sixty60
Uber. Who doesn’t love it?

Exercise/Fitness:
Down Dog (Yoga). A new workout every time you do one. Simple interface
Nike Workout app.
Both of these have been a real help during lockdown when we weren’t allowed to leave the house (even to exercise during our strictest lockdown)

Work:
Grammarly. I don’t post anything on social media without running it through Grammarly.
Games:
Currently evermerge (I’ve been a Big Fish Games fan since gaming was only on PCs) – it is a dream game for people with OCD. You can pick it up any time. There are in-game ads but they aren’t intrusive which I think is incredibly important.

How long have you been working on this app?

The idea of the app started on the 18th of January 2018. It took about a year to get the basics of what it needed to do down as well as find the team to work on it with me.

What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?

The user needed to know that when they use My Safe Zone, the likelihood of an anxiety trigger appearing was minimal. We specifically did not go with in-app advertising because of this. We wanted to become the app that they thought of when the feelings of anxiety started becoming overwhelming. We want to become the app they talk about to other anxiety sufferers. “Have you used My Safe Zone? It really helps me.”

In what way do you think your app is better than similar apps on the market? Please describe in detail what innovation you think you bring and what you are proud of in your app.

There are many apps on the market that deal with anxiety. But the majority of them focus on prevention – they give you the tools to help live in a way that will reduce anxiety generally. What very few of them do is help you during an anxiety attack. In my own experience, when I have anxiety attacks all coping tools leave my brain. I need something that provides an instant answer.

Calm is probably the best on the market in helping people generally with this lifestyle change however they are expensive and many anxiety sufferers do not have much spare cash.

Rootd is also a great anxiety app, however, in my personal opinion, the little anxiety monster they use as an icon gives me anxiety.

Using my own anxiety and anxiety management as a base for the app, we target Breathing, Sight, Sound, and Thinking. You open the app and your preferred anxiety management method is only a few taps away.

We are focused solely on anxiety sufferers, like me.

The app was built with quick access in mind, you don’t need to register when you use it.

Once you’ve downloaded and used it once it is available offline - so if you are traveling underground you don’t need a signal to use it.

Most importantly, there is no in-app advertising. No adverts to trigger your anxiety while you are using the app.

The app is majority free to use, but if you want to personalize the breathing or the affirmations then we ask for a small subscription fee.

What are your future plans and expected features of the coming new versions of this app?

We are about to release a new version with more sounds and visuals to help during an anxiety attack, these include a dog sleeping, a waterfall, a beach scene, and windchimes.

In future versions we are hoping to integrate with international anxiety helplines and we want to add in an anxiety tracker, so people can start seeing what is triggering their anxiety.

Assuming new users of your app are reading this page. What do you want to ask them to do (contact you about X, Share the app, etc.)?

I would love users to share the app on their social media accounts – anxiety and mental health is so seldom spoken about by the people suffering, that sharing this with friends and family can help people who are afraid to talk about their own suffering.

My Safe Zone – Anxiety Attack Assistance

About App:

My Safe Zone helps anxiety and panic attack sufferers regain control of their breath and their thoughts during moments of high stress, anxiety, or panic. Assisted breathing, positive affirmations, calming animations, and soothing sounds are all there to support you.

PANIC PATTERNS
This section is designed to assist you in regaining control of your breath during moments of high anxiety or panic. Follow the pattern on-screen and you will be guided through common breathing sequences that are shown to help calm and regulate breathing. The pattern repeats 4 times. One pattern is available to all users and subscribers can customize their breath sequence.

POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
My Safe Zone offers a set of regular affirmations that are often used to help anxiety sufferers calm down during an anxiety attack. Subscribers can edit these or add their own affirmations.

SOOTHING SOUNDS
We provide a set of sounds that can be listened to as background ‘white’ noise to help reduce anxiety or panic.

CALMING ANIMATIONS
My Safe Zone has a set of silent animations you can watch to help you tune out the world during moments of high anxiety or panic. The animations do not have sound specifically to help you focus only on the movement in the animation.

PANIC BUDDY

Everyone should have a person they are comfortable calling when they are experiencing moments of anxiety or panic. My Safe Zone incorporates their contact details into the app both as a reminder that you are able to call someone and to make it easy for you to simply click and call them. Please note that calls do not take place within the app.

My Safe Zone is free to download and use, and there are no ads as these could act as triggers for anxiety or panic.

Customisation is only available through an optional paid subscription. If you choose to subscribe, payment will be charged to your Google Account at confirmation of purchase.

**Disclaimer: This is not intended to be a replacement for medical treatment. If you suffer from anxiety, depression or panic attacks please get guidance from your medical health professional.**

Categories: Health & Fitness

Date: February 10, 2021

Developer: RockIT88 (Pty) Ltd.

About developer: The interviewee is Bridget Haley, the brain behind this app. Being an anxiet ... Read more

Website: https://www.my-safe-zone.com/

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App URL in iTunes

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