The Edmond Sun

Business

December 19, 2013

700-plus youth have downloaded BeEdmond app

EDMOND — Lilly Matthews, 15, said she downloaded the free BeEdmond app onto her iPhone when it first was available.

Matthews said she especially likes the informative videos on the easy-to-use app, which she has been talking about with friends around town. Matthews said she also sees a lot of students wearing the BeEdmond T-shirt.

Matthews said she also liked the public service announcement videos featuring local officials and celebrities like former Santa Fe High School pitcher and New York Yankees’ draftee Ty Hensley and BMX star Mat Hoffman.

“I think it’s really great for our community,” Matthews said. “I hope a lot of kids download it.”

To date, more than 700 Edmond Public Schools students have downloaded an app offering resources for health and wellness, said Kathy Matthews, Lilly’s mom and communications and development coordinator for Edmond Family Counseling.

Matthews coordinates BeEdmond, a free app and related website connecting teens and young adults to information about more than 35 resources in the areas of crisis and safety, health care, education and civic involvement. The app is available in the App Store or in Google Play.

Edmond Family Counseling began the project after an outbreak of suicides including teen victims startled the community several years ago.

The app, engineered and distributed by Red Chair Productions and FINTEL Media, received support from Edmond Public Schools administrators, school board members and counselors, Matthews said.

Other community partners include Freestyle Productions and Edmond Memorial product Bunee Tomlinson, who collaborated to produce the second BeEdmond public service announcement featuring Hoffman, Citizens Bank of Edmond, Poos Taekwondo, Twist and Shout and the Ministerial Alliance of Edmond.

Matthews said the $40,000 fundraising goal was exceeded thanks to Edmond Family Counseling leadership, INTEGRIS Health, Mercy Hospital of Oklahoma City, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and numerous individuals, and especially due to the generosity of Citizens Bank of Edmond. Funds went to the development and maintenance of the app.

BeEdmond encourages youth and young adults to: Be safe; be smart; be helpful; be mobile; be connected and to be healthy. Each area helps to bridge the gap between isolation and success, Matthews said.

The project also takes advantage of online social media outlets including Facebook and Twitter and YouTube.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

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