Taos teen creates app to prevent teen suicides

TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) – A Taos teen is taking action to try and put a stop to teen suicide. He enlisted the help of his tech-savvy mom and developed an app.

“I had a friend who jumped, he committed suicide. I saw something, but I didn’t say anything and that’s something I carry around, that’s something I’m going to live with,” said Justis Daniel.

That experienced led Justis and his mom to create an app in hopes of reaching teens contemplating suicide.

“See Something Say Something started as a preventative reaction to the loss of my friends to suicide,” said Justis Daniel.

Justis, his mom, and a group of his classmates from Taos STEAM Academy submitted their prototype of the See Something Say Something app to the Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge. That submission landed them an award for the best app in the nation.

“We’re incredibly thankful for that and now we’re in the process of developing the app, after having won best in nation,” he said.

The app has a built in feature that connects teens going through a hard time to a crisis hotline. The hotline can connect teens 24/7 with a trained crisis counselor. There’s also a feature that allows users to talk to each other and create a safe space to discuss their problems.

“Get to those teens, those users, the help when they need, whenever they need and however they need it,” said Justis.

Even though the app is only a prototype, this mom and son duo said it’s already doing its job of creating conversation preventing teen suicide within the Taos community.

“It’s allowed us to have very community based teen engagement where teens come out and are having this forward conversation,” said Luckie Daniel, mom to Justis.

Right now Justis and Luckie are in the process of actually developing the app for iPhones and Androids. The app will be available by June.

Along with winning the best in the nation, the See Something Say Something app also won best in the state and best in the region.