MilTeen Chat App | A Program for Military Connected Teens
The First App Just for Military Teens
Thanks to a grant the University of Pittsburgh received to develop the first mobile support app designed for teens ages 13-17 years old. Pitt recruited Military Childrens Collaborative Group (MCCG) located in California to help conduct military connected teen workshops. Pitt conducted workshops in Penn. Military teens from all branches of service along with veteran teens reviewed Dr. Kathy Puskar’s SAMSHA research approved manual “Teaching Kids to Cope”.
Military teens shared their personal experiences to the group, together designing the app suggesting what should be addressed regarding their challenges living a military life, feeling alone, moving, dealing with transition, supporting their parent and siblings during separation, educating those unfamiliar with living a military life, connecting with other military teens experiencing the same challenges. The app will not allow negative language, it is a safe and secured place where teens can speak to one another without their parent. The app should be fun and offer a game and rewards program. The app is called MilTeenChatTM.
Pitt followed an IRB in the design of the app. Formed a Team which included the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and Psychiatry, Center of Military Medicine, Military Childrens Collaborative Group, Pt. Pal, and Bark Technology. Together they began developing the App which took over 2 years. Military teens assisted in the testing and the launch of the App.
MilTeenChatTM app was launched and went live in April at the Month of the Military Child event at Los Alamitos Joint Training Base, Los Alamitos, CA in 2017.
The app allows the user to create their own profile private or shared publicly within the app’s secured network. There are 3 categories- Friends, Family and School where articles are written for their age group. The app has many features for teens learn coping skills, post pictures to share, teens can share tips and comments with one another. The User is rewarded for their activity in the app by earning a virtual challenge coin!
The app is free! Pre-registration and parental permission are required due to minors being on the app. Negative words, emojis and sex texting will not post. If a at risk word is the word will not post. The User is notified and messaged a DOD support number to contact, at the same time a message is sent to the parent. The App is monitored on the backend.
The app’s second version will offer a game to expand a teen’s thinking to make better choices and decisions.
Here are what military teens are saying about the app-
“Teachers don’t know what I go through when my parent is away. I know can share a MilteenChat article to help them understand”- Army 15 yrs. old
Military Childrens Collaborative Group Programs
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to questions you may have about the Military Childrens Collaborative Group’s MilTeenChat App.
No. MilTeenChat App was designed by military teens for military teens peer support, for specific challenges and offering tips on coping skills.
The App was designed with safety purposes in mind.
MilteenChat App will launch in 2017. Here is the website where you can request the MilTeenChat App.
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