stem4's Life Saving App Calm Harm wins Gold at Awards

stem4’s Calm Harm App wins Gold at the British Design Awards 2019

Local Wimbledon charity, stem4 were delighted to have been awarded the coveted Gold award at the BDA Design Effectiveness Awards 2019 for the Calm Harm app which helps young people manage the urge to self-harm. The presentation was made at a dinner at the Royal Horticultural Halls on June 12.


Calm Harm was entered by HMA the design agency for stem4. It is a life-saving app which helps young people cope with and deflect the urge to self harm and  has been downloaded around a million times across 171 countries. BDA have made a film which can be viewed on


Over 60% of users have used the Calm Harm app more than once and 93% report a reduction in the urge to self-harm after completing one of its exercises.   Free to use and designed to be discreet and anonymous, the app offers young people options such as distraction techniques or breathing techniques to help them overcome the urge to self-harm.


The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards recognise the return on investment, a coherent, well-thought out and professionally executed design strategy can achieve. DBA champions the transformative power of its strategic and economic value to business and government set up by the design industry for the design industry. The Awards were judged by business leaders in 3 rounds of judging.  A third panel of judges met in April to select the winners.


Dr Nihara Krause, CEO and Founder of stem4 and clinical creator of Calm Harm said “Self harm is a major issue at the moment. It’s a behaviour young people use to communicate something, most often communicate distress, and we do need to provide some sort of tool to manage that, because our traditional services are very stretched, as a result the threshold for acceptance for treatment is very high, and providing a digital tool that young people can use that is validated and follows scientific principles, is actually something that is very beneficial.


The collaboration with HMA has made a huge difference to the effectiveness and distribution of the app. They worked with young people to get an idea of what would be appealing to young people. Because the app is so user friendly, it has been downloaded across the world in about 171 countries, and we have currently just under a million downloads. When we first released the app, we had 24,000 downloads, and promotion of the app has primarily been by young people, through social media in particular.”


stem4 is a Wimbledon based, award winning charity that supports teenage mental health through mental health promotion, provides evidence based mental health education, builds resilience, enhances motivation to change and signposts to early intervention. stem4 focuses on commonly occurring mental health issues in teenagers including eating disorders, anxiety, depression, self-harm and addiction. stem4 works with students, parents and teachers in secondary schools as well as health professionals including GPs and school nurses through their conferences and their digitally delivered workshops suitable for PHSE in schools and is included in the Royal College of GP toolkit.


Calm Harm has met the standards required to be included in the NHS Digital Apps Library and has won several awards and been featured in the London Design Museum. The website allows users to find out more about the app, watch an introductory video, view screenshots, read app reviews and order Calm Harm resources such as posters and postcards.


The stem4 Calm Harm app helps teenagers manage the urge to self-harm and has currently a million downloads across the world. Whilst the recently introduced Clear Fear app helps children and young people manage anxiety. Both can be downloaded free from App Store and Google Play.