Nine-year-old Delhi schoolboy creates an app to beat depression in kids

Sharangee Dutta | Posted on Monday, February 03, 2020

Children can take mental health quizzes on the app and connect with psychologists to discuss their feelings


For Madhav Agnihotri, watching his elder sister Shriya crumble during the exams due to performance pressure in school was heartbreaking. This germinated the idea of having an app in this Delhi boy, all of 9 years.

The student of class III, DPS Noida, has been learning to code on an online platform since March 2019 where he learnt the technique to develop ‘Distress Buddy App’. The app helps children of 6-14 years take various quizzes and connect with psychologists to get help for eliminating stress and anxiety. “I saw how my sister suffered from depression due to extreme pressure in school over assignments and exams,” says Madhav, talking to Education Times.

A topper in his class, Madhav faced extreme competition and aggression among his peers, which made this sensitive child understand the problem of depression and anxiety better.

“Children often feel shy and uncomfortable to talk about the negativity they are dealing with. At times, this isolates them and leads them to anxiety. By offering an outlet to talk will make them confident,” says Madhav, adding that many children in his class who got bullied in the past also struggled with anxiety and depression.

To use the Distress Buddy app, users need to sign in and take a quiz that comprises questions on their mental health and stress levels. These answers are then analysed by psychologists who gauge the child’s mental condition and offer them help accordingly. Users can fix an appointment with a psychologist to continue taking systematic treatment. The app also has helpline numbers from across cities. Currently, Madhav is working to add more features in the app including additional questions in the quizzes, and roping in more psychologists.