Elliot McKernon, PhD Mathematics

Alongside studying his PhD in Mathematics, Elliot developed Wellspring, an app designed to guide users through understanding and improving their mental health.

University of Manchester PhD student Elliot McKernon

Since winning the Manchester Doctoral College Excellence Award for 'Best Contribution to Society in 2018/19', Elliot applied for funding from the University, hired a team, developed Wellspring, and is aiming to release the app shortly. In addition to creating the app, Elliot and his team have also launched a supporting website.

“Users can learn about different problems and how to get help with them, as well as how to help themselves. Our aim is to provide a bridge between effective treatment and people who aren’t getting any treatment, and may not even know they would benefit from it.”

“People don’t think about mental illness the same way they think about physical illness, and lots of people never get treatment. It’s especially hard for the anxious or depressed to overcome the barriers between themselves and treatment, and it was while helping a friend get help that I came up with the idea for Wellspring.”

“The next steps are to add short quizzes based on NHS screening tools, and to adapt and use them to advise people to see a doctor urgently if their symptoms are severe. Tools like this are great for convincing people who might be in denial about their problems that they’d benefit from help.”

“Long term, I also have a couple ideas for much more specific mental health apps, one for anxiety and one for OCD.”