Ginger Poole
Innovation Design


Suicide Prevention App

I wanted to create an app for mental health

I found an app challenge in 2014 for SAMHSA that addressed the needs of suicidal patients'  to have a digital health solution between the time they were released from the hospital ER until they saw their therapist.

  • I created this for an app challenge but the development did not get completed in time to submit.
  • I worked on this project on my own time for 3 months. 
  • I was the UX & UI designer, content writer and product manager for this project
I was particularly interested in this as I spent 3 years as an art therapist in private practice seeing the need first hand. I took a safety plan and converted it to digital with some extra features.

The SAMHSA app was the first of its kind.


In the discovery phase of my project, I interviewed therapists, counselors, patients and hospital ER nurses in order to get a better understanding of the problem.

  • The questions I looked at included: what kind of support did a person need at this time? How could an app be helpful and not risk endangering people when they needed to be in the hospital? How could an app involve the patient's safety plan?
  • I interviewed 8 people and read many books and articles.
  • The main insight I received was about the progression of needs for different periods of time. For example, sometimes a person needs to change their thinking but sometimes they need to call a friend.



I created wireframes to test out the concept. The user would use the slider according to their mood. When the slider landed, the below list item would highlight the task that corresponded. 

  • This accounted for the fact that at different times, the user's mood would be different and they needed to take different actions.
  • I used Photoshop to make these comps for the developer to work from and wrote all the copy.


UI Design

This is the breathe part of the app. The user could set the time they wanted to breathe with inspirational photos and the app counted down.

  • The visual style was simple and at the time, flat design was new.
  • I loved being able to use my photography in the Breathe section. This was long before Insight Timer or Headspace!

Truly a labor of love.

I learned that this type of work is what I want to do.

I moved to Cigna to do the work of helping people with digital. I love helping folks live healthier lives through improved mental health. 

  • My biggest struggle over this project was finding an experienced iOS developer who would work for the opportunity to win the prize. Unfortunately, we never got to submit due to the deadline.
  • I still feel proud of this project although design and apps have moved forward since then. 

I look forward to my next challenge perhaps with Augmented Reality.

"Digital Therapeutics"
I knew this would eventually be a thing.