App offers social support for people with chronic illnesses

ReachOut connects people battling disease

DALLAS — Sunil Modi is a tech guy, but when heart disease struck his family he had a lot of questions.

“I went looking for support,” said Modi, who realized he wasn’t alone. “Oftentimes when people are going through these diseases, they feel very alone, depressed.”

So, he came up with ReachOut.

“It lets [people] connect with people who are going through the exact same thing as they are,” Modi explained.

Users can vent, share fears, and ask questions of those who have been through similar experiences.

“People who are going through diabetes, cancer, heart disease, mental illness, substance abuse, or even death and grieving,” said Modi, showing News 8 the different categories available on the app.

ReachOut doesn’t offer professional medical advice and you can’t chat individually. Users create a profile and select the topics of interest while sharing as little or as much as they like.

“It’s where the lay people help the lay people,” said Conni Adams, 54, who came across ReachOut while scrolling Google Play from her Carrollton home.

“From a car accident, I have PTSD and a traumatic brain injury,” said Adams.

Her words don’t come as fast as they used to. She said ReachOut is offering her a system of support that previously didn’t exist in her life.

“I lost my family," Adams said. "I lost my friends, and people just don't understand when you look fine on the outside, on the inside things are going on. There are people on there that understand what's going on with me."

Adams uses a pseudonym and picture of her dog to maintain some anonymity.

“So I don't feel like I'm really giving too much," she explained.

Overall, Adams said the app has connected her with people who’ve offered her comfort. In turn, she's empowered to do the same for others.

“You know, if I can help one person then it's worth everything,” she said.

ReachOut is a free app that was launched in March 2016. It has more than 2,000 users worldwide. It’s available on Amazon, Google Play, and in the App Store.

For more information visit www.reachout.life.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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