Knowing that 1 in 5 people experience mental health problems, Vancouver Island health care provider, Island Health, wanted an app that could help teens and young adults struggling with issues such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and psychosis.


Robots and Pencils developed BoosterBuddy, an iOS and Android app featuring a friendly avatar companion. Through elements of gamification, the app teaches users how to practice positive wellness habits, cope more effectively with mental health disorders and overcome difficulty with completing daily tasks.

While designing BoosterBuddy, Robots and Pencils gathered feedback and input from both the Island Health team and the young adults they serve—helping us to create an app that truly engages and supports its users.

We were impressed at how well Robots and Pencils worked with our youth designers: they treated our clients with remarkable respect, worked collaboratively with them and listened closely to what they needed. They absorbed our ideas, helped us articulate our vision, and quickly integrated it all into a beautifully designed and perfectly functional product that arrived on time and on budget.

Lauren Fox, Occupational Therapist, Island Health

A little boost can make a big difference

Teaching teens and young adults positive wellness habits

Designed for teens and young adults, BoosterBuddy users can:

  • Choose an avatar that will help them to establish healthy habits through encouraging messages and elements of gamification.
  • Check in daily to report how they’re feeling and complete wellness tasks (called quests) to earn clothing and other accessories for their avatar.
  • Create and personalize a crisis plan, including contact information for their support team.
  • Get a well-being boost in the Coping Library, which contains customizable quick tips, from deep breathing to motivational statements and more.
  • View a calendar that tracks daily check-ins, appointments, medication and treatment adherence.

Reaching those who need an extra boost

  • 75,000+ downloads since its 2014 launch, giving each user a valuable opportunity to monitor, track and improve their mental health.
  • 5-star rating in the App Store and 500+ 5-star reviews in the Play Store.
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Behind the scenes: Creating BoosterBuddy

“This is an amazing app. It’s helped so much in the short time I’ve been using it. Easy, bite-sized steps to getting better. I love how the quests adapt to how I check in that day, and that I can track my mood over long periods. And that hit of achievement reaching my quests each day means I can always say I’ve accomplished something. Thank you so much!!!!

“Great way to help people engage with their mental health. Simple but to the point, sweet and caring.

“I have a client in private practice, a young woman who found booster buddy and is absolutely loving it! She finds it fun, focusing, and is really making accelerated progress on her goals.

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