New App Helps Family Members Understand Schizophrenia

App helps understand schizophrenia

A Nelson graduate student has created a device which will allow the families of people with schizophrenia a glimpse of the overwhelming world their loved ones live in.

Former Nelson College for Girls student Sarah Mokhtar, 24, is studying at Victoria University towards a Masters degree in design innovation. Interested in creating products and industrial design, Sarah has spent the last year working on a programme called “empathear” that works through a downloadable app and a “wearable technology” scarf. Wearing these items will let those close to people who hear voices in their heads understand what the experience is like.

She said her inspiration for empathear grew out of the years she spent growing up in Wakefield alongside her older sister, who has struggled with schizophrenia. Among the services offered when her sister was first diagnosed was a “hearing voices” workshop that the whole family did together 10 years ago.

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