Thor star Chris Hemsworth backs doctor’s ScrubSupport app to help healthcare professionals’ mental health
A mental health and wellbeing app has been created by a Cambridge doctor to help healthcare professionals – and it has earned the support of Thor.
Dr Luxna Srinivasan decided to create ScrubSupport for key workers, allowing them to access help through the convenience of their phone during the pandemic.
The 26-year-old junior doctor wanted to supplement the services already available to NHS staff, and bring together a wide range of areas.
The app provides access to counsellors, healthy eating advice, food providers and fitness companies, including that of actor Chris Hemsworth, who played Thor in the Marvel movies.
“I started from literally basics, I had to read online how to build an app starting from nothing at all,” said Dr Srinivasan, who was acting independently.
“It’s a stressful time so they are bound to be stresses at work. Knowing there is stress in the workplace right now, I want to help doctors and nurses to have an avenue to speak to someone after difficult shifts. I contacted counsellors who are registered with the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy), and 20 very kind counsellors were very on board with the initiative.
“This whole app is reality because of them, without them we couldn’t have the app. They were very willing to volunteer their services to the healthcare professionals.
“One of the benefits of this app is that, usually when we want to choose a counsellor, we get our choice of who suits us best because each counsellor offers different therapy and services.
“You can choose the counsellor of your choice that offers the kind of service you want – some of them offer telephone counselling, some of them offer video counselling, it depends what suits you best.”
With colleagues reporting that shop shelves were empty by the end of their shifts, and grocery deliveries proving hard to book, Dr Srinivasan got in contact with food providers. They offered priority and discount codes on the app, with the NHS card earning a discount.
Contact was also made with several online fitness companies.
“They are offering trials and attractive deals at the moment,” said Dr Srinivasan.
“Some of them were very eager to be featured on the app as well, including Chris Hemsworth’s online fitness Centr. His company’s publicity manager got back to me and was very happy to be featured to help the healthcare professionals.”
She was keen to stress that the app is only in a small way supplementing the support processes already in place for staff within the NHS.
With a younger demographic of doctors, it made it easier to have instant access during any breaks in the busy days.
Dr Srinivasan added: “I felt physical wellbeing, eating well, and working out boosts mental wellbeing, and I wanted healthcare professionals to have all that in one app.
“It’s at the convenience of their phone, if they go onto the app they can access all of this.
“They don’t have to source different places to look for each of these. If they go onto the app, they can order groceries – there are even recipes featured on there by Instagrammers that they could follow on their days off.
“I thought it was a good app that covers all sorts of mental wellbeing for healthcare professionals.”
The app is available on Google Play for Android devices and the Apple Store for iPhones.