Support from The Big House helps to launch wellbeing app Mindamigo

Mindamigo is a digital app designed to help people take control of their mental health – by learning what the therapists know.

Support Outcomes


Mindamigo's illustrated characters

It’s been a difficult time for many of us, with the pandemic challenging our mental health and young people in particular experiencing higher levels of loneliness. NTU alumni, Adam Chadwick, is helping people find support with the launch of his brand new digital app – Mindamigo.

The inspiration for Mindamigo came from Adam’s own experience of mental health and making it a reality has taken him on an extraordinary five-year journey, full of highs and lows.

“I’ve struggled with anxiety, depression and low self-esteem and spent a long time fishing for answers and looking for revelations to ‘solve’ things. Including exploring therapies like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). As I learnt more and found the support that resonated with me, I began to think “if only I’d found this right at the start.”

“That was the spark for Mindamigo. I wanted to create a space where people could get straight to the core of the best mental health information available online and become their own therapist, by giving them an ‘all you can eat buffet’ of self-help tools, techniques and insights to pick and choose from. An app felt like the right platform, as more and more people are using apps like Calm and Headspace to support their wellbeing.

“I started by researching ACT and CBT in depth as their insights and techniques underpin the majority of mental health support. I studied international relations and politics at NTU, so I needed a good grounding in psychology. I’m always very open about the fact I’m not a psychologist, and Mindamigo is supported by a professional advisory board, including forensic psychologists Katie Bell, who also teaches at NTU, and Bridgitte Calder.

“Next, I started developing Mindamigo’s library of courses and content, to guide people through the wealth of insights and techniques I’d discovered on my own mental health journey. Originally, I was going to use video, but I opted for audio instead. I also got thinking about how the app would look and feel and started working with a designer.

“At this point, I had a graduate job at Cadbury, working in business development. As Mindamigo progressed it became clear I couldn’t do both. I left when it felt right and worked part-time as a retail demonstrator, so I could commit to Mindamigo. It’s always been my passion project.

Mindamigo Founder Adam Chadwick

“One of the most challenging aspects of creating the app has been the coding and development. I started off working with a small app development company but there were endless hitches and delays and the beta version they finally produced just didn’t meet my expectations. That was summer 2020 and it was touch and go as to whether Mindamigo would happen.

“Fortunately, I came across The Big House programme on social media and went along to an online session on watertight marketing. It was about being as efficient as you can and what I learnt will prove really useful going forward. I also went to a session on managing finances, which covered things like business expenses and working with accountants. Looking back, The Big House came along at just the right time, as it introduced me to many of the skills I’ve needed to plan Mindamigo’s release and launch and the foundations of running a business.

“The Big House also led me to Nottingham Business Club. I went along to one of their Zoom meetings and was open and honest about pitching for an investor. Through the new contacts I made I found the perfect app developers and we agreed to go into partnership, with them having a 25% share in the app. Mindamigo was back on.

“The website and social media is already live and the app itself is due to launch at the end of June. During this time I’ve also redesigned the app from top to toe, introduced Mindamigo’s illustrated characters, and re-wrote all the courses and content. Mindamigo isn’t a magic bullet but by giving people tools, techniques and insights the app will hopefully make a difference. As I’ve learnt myself over the years, mental wellbeing isn’t about ‘solving’ anything, it’s about being OK with vulnerability and building a more holistic, human approach to emotions.

“Mindamigo has been five years in the making and it’s been one hell of a journey. I’ve had a lot of support from NTU along the way. From The Hive, who have given me business advice from my first year of uni and helped me secure funding from Santander, to The Big House programme. In many ways, the journey’s just beginning.

“Next, I’m planning to explore the idea of partnering with the NHS or a mental health charity, to make Mindamigo accessible to as many people as possible. I’m also looking to add additional therapies like Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) to give people even more self-help tools, alongside access to live, one-to-one sessions with a therapist.

“I’d say to anyone with a passion project like mine, don’t give up. If it’s something you really want to do then carry on, but be realistic and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Be willing to come at life with open arms and put yourself out of your comfort zone. The best life is a vulnerable life.”

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