Kiwi Home and Away actor creates app that could help mental health during lockdown

Māori actor Rob Kipa Williams from one of Australia’s longest running soaps has developed a new app that he hopes will help Kiwis through lockdown.

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Rob Kipa Williams, who broke new ground as part of home and Away's first Māori whanau, is hoping a new app he's developed will be ground-breaking too. Source: 1 NEWS

Williams broke new ground as part of Home and Away's first Māori whanau.

Now he’s back in Tauranga while production’s stopped on the soap.

However, he is still working.

“I started the development of the app before I started the show, but when I was doing scenes, in between takes I would jump on my phone and I would be replying to the developer,” he told 1 NEWS.

The app is called Feel and allows people to upload how they’re feeling.

“So you might be nervous, bored, anxious, angry, afraid, overwhelmed, scared, a little bit stressed then they can write a note that goes out to friends, trusted friends only," he said.

The actor had his own struggles that could have been helped by the app.

“Two years ago I was depressed, I'd had a break up and was lucky to have $21 in my back pocket, I felt like I had the world on my shoulders," he said.

“I was introduced to a mentor who helped me understand the importance of understanding my emotions.”

Clinical psychologist Denise Kingi-Uluave helped develop the app.

She heads a Pacific Health Organisation and uses the app to push users to their website for further resources and help.

“We can adjust our behaviour, if we catch it early enough to be more realistic about the situation then we will behave differently," she said.

“Hopefully that will help us to have more patience and understanding with our loved ones in our bubble,” she told 1 NEWS.

Download the app here