Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Trauma Informed Mind Body smartphone app and website

Intervention Description
Overall Description: 
The TIMBo app for smartphones is user friendly app that can be used independently or as a companion to the TIMBo (trauma informed mind body) program. The TIMBo program is offered in marginalized communities across the globe. The TIMBo program has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD while improving self-compassion. Data collected on the program show that program participants share the tools and strategies learned with friends, family members and children by a rate of 100%! The proposed smartphone app will both capitalize on TIMBo participants’ enthusiasm for their new skills as well as introduce “TIMBo tools” to individuals not directly involved in the TIMBo curriculum. Using discoveries gleaned from research on TIMBo program itself the TIMBo app will focus on increasing physical, emotional, social and mental resilience by providing access to TIMBo trauma informed mindfulness practices such as yoga, guided meditation and breathing exercises. Using components from successful apps such as MapMyWalk, Waze, Fitbit and Zen Insight Timer, the TIMBo app supports women in building their own program, set goals, connect with and support friends. Award badges and weekly reports help with accountability and motivation. In addition we have seen that the TIMBo program provides a common language and builds a non-judgmental global community, which creates a sense of belonging and acceptance. Like the TIMBo program, the TIMBo app will reinforce a sense of empowerment by encouraging individuals to choose how they wish to respond to body sensations and making tools for that choice accessible. Personal empowerment begins by learning new tools and strategies for emotional regulation, but is further significantly fueled through the sharing of these tools with friends, family and community members. The TIMBo app seeks to facilitate this learning, applying and sharing for grass roots community health across the globe.
The TIMBo app is reflective of the TIMBo (Trauma Informed Mind Body) program. TIMBo is an effective, yet simple trauma informed program designed with women’s psychological and social issues at the forefront of consideration. The TIMBo app will be completely user driven, giving women the ability to choose from many different “TIMBo” tools, such as breath work, yoga postures and/or meditations. Empowerment and choice are two trauma informed principles the TIMBo program was designed to provide. Women can create TIMBo “groups” on their app, with full privacy functions and options. Women can connect to just their group members (if they are currently in a TIMBo group), other friends using the app or no one at all. By connecting with friends women help support one another with their use of TIMBo tools. Women become part of a safe and resilient community as they share the effects of their favorite tools as well as their success in reaching their goals. A feature of this app is the S.O.S button, whereby women can choose this button when they need a stress reduction tool right away. Upon choosing this button women will immediately receive a guided breath that can help them calm themselves in a matter of as little as a minute. The user’s network of friends also receive a notification telling them that she has pressed the S.O.S button, and can then send her a message offering support. All this is with the express permission of the app user and her setting preferences. As in the TIMBo program, there is no hierarchical structure. Each woman has equal voice and influence in the program and as the program translates to the app the principle of mutuality will remain.
We do not currently have a patented tool. The TIMBo program is copyright of yogaHOPE
The success of the proven effective TIMBo program relies on the philosophy that women naturally find strength and empowerment through connecting with and supporting other women. In the years since the first pilot of TIMBo nearly 100% of the women in the program have shared what they have learned with others. Many TIMBo participants have expressed desire to have access to their community and tools after the program’s completion, hence the idea for an app. With the addition of the TIMBo app for smartphone, the women at Jane Addams Place will have access to the TIMBo tools and a TIMBo social support community at their finger tips. We anticipate that the impact of this additional resource for women will result in measurable reductions in symptoms of depression, anxiety and PTSD that go even beyond what we are seeing with just one program round of TIMBo. The TIMBo application incorporates TIMBo specific meditations, guided breathing exercises, TIMBo yoga and support for how users can talk to their bodies during times of stress. Using the application, women can create groups, set weekly goals and measure the effects of the tools and their increased empowerment. The SOS button will give women immediate access to a tool for self-regulation in times of stress (such as job interviews, court hearings and arguments with others). In addition, the SOS button will (permission dependent) send a notice out to other group members so that social/emotional support through texts can be offered, reinforcing social safety and mitigating isolation. Incentive tools such as award badges and level ups keep the app fun and encourage women to maintain their practices and share tools with others. The TIMBo app is powerfully revolutionary because it puts increased mental, emotional and behavioral health into the hands of the women and their community.
Upon receipt of funding the TIMBo app and supporting website (part of the yogaHOPE website) will take approximately 4 to 6 months to complete the final product. yogaHOPE and Project Design Company (PDC) will collaborate on initial research and development whereby PDC initiate development of architecture, wireframes and design while yogaHOPE TIMBo team heads will produce all voice recordings of TIMBo meditations, TIMBo breathing exercises, TIMBo body communications and videos of TIMBo yoga sequences. Architecture, wires, design and audio/video production will take approximately 5-6 weeks. Following initial production of design and audio/video, PDC will move forward with development of the app and website itself including collaborating with TIMBo team to ensure all content is included and accurate. The design phase will take approximately 6-8 weeks. Following development, testing and refining will be handed over to Flux Forward to ensure a successful user experience (see Flux Forward case study) to ensure maximum beneficial effects of the TIMBo app. Testing and refinement phase will take 2-4 weeks. Steps broken down are as follows: Architecture Wireframes Design Audio/Video Production Development Testing Approvals Launch
Estimated Cost of Production: 
27 500.00
Do the production costs decrease as the number of units produced increases?: 
Space and Staffing Required: 
We intend the TIMBo app to be accessible to women who are both involved in a TIMBo group at the shelter in addition to women who are using the app only. There is no space or staffing necessary for the use of the app, but our intention is to use a portion of these funds to train two staff members of Jane Addams Place as TIMBo facilitators. The trained staff would then be able to run an on site TIMBo program for an hour and a half once a week. With both in house facilitators and the free TIMBo app, women can access the power of the TIMBo program, tools and community easily and at no cost. In using the TIMBo app only, there is no space or staff requirement.
Does your product require training of shelter staff to use appropriately?: 
Training Details: 
The app itself does not require training.Our intention is to train two staff members of the Jane Addams Place to become certified TIMBo facilitators. The trainings take place in Ipswich MA and are offered several times per year. A partnership with Jane Addams Place in piloting the use of the TIMBo app both with and without the structure of the program would help us refine and improve both the app and the accompanying supporting website for the women who utilize the product. After the initial training, the staff facilitators would be part of the TIMBo Facilitator community where they would be connected to other facilitators throughout the USA. The TIMBo app and supporting website is intended to be completely user friendly and accessible to anyone.
We anticipate the TIMBo app and supporting website to be a self sustaining stand alone product for the improvement of psychological and social resilience as well as an empowerment tool. The use of the app and in-app evaluation measures will help our developers improve and refine the product for maximum impact. In addition, this product will be a support to individuals participating in the TIMBo program both online, in person as well as for individuals who purchase the TIMBo book (in development). Individuals following the TIMBo program through a book purchase the app to not only access TIMBo tools but to benefit from the powerful social components of the TIMBo program. Research shows that many mental health disorders, including addiction (see attached) are at greater risk when individuals are isolated and consumed with shame and self-judgment. Improvements in all TIMBo products will focus on accessibility (connecting through Google hangout for online TIMBo groups), measurability (through things like thumb print heart rate monitoring before and after using tools and brief ratings and surveys designed into app) and social connection (encouraging users to support and educate one another). The nature of a smartphone app is in itself sustainable as users share with one another and find each other via social networking sites such as Facebook. A deluxe version of the TIMBo app will be developed, offering clinicians, teachers, TIMBo facilitators and other mental health professionals access to research, instruction and other pertinent information in supporting patients, students and participants with the tools and program. This deluxe version of TIMBo will be available for a small cost and the revenue generated will help maintain an effective, cutting edge product.
By virtue of this product being a smartphone app the replicability of the product is implicit. The measured success and qualitative data of the existing TIMBo program give us the advantage of knowing what women want and need built into the app. These include access to the TIMBo tools and continued connection with TIMBo group members and/or social networks. Continued product testing and evaluation of the app will allow us to refine the app to be the most effective for improved behavioral health and psychological resilience. Built around the discovery that women who participate in the TIMBo program willingly share their tools and knowledge with friends and family we expect to see the use of the TIMBo app grow exponentially as women spread awareness of the app. Female trauma survivors often find themselves at the fringe of society, living in shelters or struggling to recovery from substance abuse. This creates a strong feeling of social stigma and self judgement culminating in self imposed isolation. The social support and connectivity component of the TIMBo app helps women loosen the stigma they feel in association with their life situation and their past experiences. The TIMBo program helps women connect with one another and find the empowerment inherent in learning and sharing tools for emotional regulation. Connecting with women who have similar life circumstance (in other shelters or recovery) makes the TIMBo app a powerful too for empowerment and connection across the U.S. As the TIMBo app grows in its application and use, women begin to feel that they belong to a community that is mutually supportive, empowering and speaks a language of self-awareness and self-compassion. In short, the more the TIMBo app is replicated the stronger the effects will be.
Monitoring and evaluation will be conducted to assess the impact of the TIMBo app Addams Place site and stand along app usage. All participants, with consent, will participate in both pre-program and post-program assessment. For monitoring and evaluation purposes, a survey will be administered both before and after program implementation. For Jane Adams Place users, participants will complete pre-program assessment during the orientation session, prior to implementation of programming and initiation of app usage. Post-program assessment will be implemented after the completion of the final session. App only participants will complete the assessment prior to initial utilization of the app and at the completion of the assessment, a period equivalent to the program implementation period for the Jane Addams Place site. The survey will consist of both scale items and open ended questions. Scales will assess changes in utilization of coping strategies as well as changes in how the women respond to the impacts of traumatic stress. Validated measures for depression, anxiety, PTSD and self-compassion will be included. In addition, program specific open ended questions will be incorporated, including specific questions addressing app utilization and experience. Assessments can be administered in person, via email survey or through the app itself. In addition to pre and post-program assessments, participants will have the opportunity to engage in in app journaling of their app experience and specific app tool ratings. Participants will also be able to give immediate qualitative feedback following in app utilization of program tools.