"SFUnwind" iOS Application

SFUnwind application icon

SFUnwind is a free iOS application designed to assist sufferers of panic & anxiety related disorders through the use of proven, psychotherapy-based interventions & grounding techniques.

GitHub Repository: https://github.com/b1skit/SFUnwind

Project Development Overview

SFUnwind was planned & implemented in 5 weeks as a Software Engineering course (CMPT 276) term project by a team of 4 developers. The application was selected by the Simon Fraser University Health & Counselling services department as one of the top three applications developed in the course.

SFUnwind was developed using Swift 3.0 via xCode for MacOS & is compatible with iOS 9.0 or higher on iPad or iPhone 4 devices or better.

Personal Contributions & Accomplishments

  • Project Management
    • Lead a team of 4 developers from initial concept to final implementation
  • Programming
    • Primary programmer for the “Panic Alert” feature
    • Contributing programmer on all other application features
  • Design & Documentation
    • Created initial application concept & authored design document & co-authored system requirements & quality assurance documents
    • Designed application structure & created all system models & UML diagrams
    • Created UX design mockups, UI art assets, icon design & application styling


Project Goal

SFUnwind was developed with the theme of building a healthy community within Simon Fraser University. Research revealed that 28% — the most common reason each year — of all visits to the SFU Health & Counselling Service were self-reported to be related to anxiety. Furthermore, 1.3 million Canadians report suffering from panic or anxiety related disorders each year. Anxiety & panic disorders typically begin in late adolescence and young adulthood, with women being twice as likely to develop a panic disorder as men. Given that SFU’s student body has an average age of 21.7 years and a demographic majority of female students (as of 2015), an application designed to assist sufferers of panic & anxiety represented a high impact opportunity to benefit a large portion of the SFU student community.

Application Features:


1. Positive Affirmation Mantras

The Positive Affirmations feature screen

Prevent panic attacks from occurring & change negative thought processes by harnessing the power of repetitive positive affirmation recitation.

  • Users can create & save a library of custom positive affirmation mantra messages
  • System notifications can be scheduled as reminders to regularly repeat mantra messages throughout the day, encouraging practice & internalization of new thought processes
  • A database of over 60 pre-written positive affirmation messages is included


2. Meditative “Square Breathing” Exercise

“Square Breathing” is a proven, psychotherapy based panic attack intervention & relaxation technique used to help users prevent or minimize the effects of a panic attack & to regain control of their breathing.

  • Users trace the edges of the square with their eyes, timing their breath with the growing & contracting animated circles located at each corner
  • The phone vibrates soothingly in time with the target breathing rhythm
  • Progression statistics are tracked & displayed to motivate users as they work to improve the time it takes to regain control of their breathing


3. “5-4-3-2-1” Interactive Grounding Exercise

Disrupt active panic attacks with an interactive version of the “5-4-3-2-1” Relaxation Technique (aka Betty Erickson’s Induction). This is a modern, interactive version of a proven psychotherapy intervention designed to help users break out of anxious thought patterns by shifting their focus back to their surrounding environment.

  • On-screen prompts guide users to capture images using the iPhone’s camera
  • Users capture 5 images of things they can see, 5 things they can hear, & 5 things they can touch
  • The sequence is repeated, counting down the number of images for each category per round: Users capture 5, 4, 3, 2 & then 1 image as they satisfy each category
  • Users are presented with a positive affirmation message & gallery of images after the exercise is completed


4. Panic Alert System

The Panic Alert feature allows users to immediately connect with their supports in an emergency situation, removing the stress & delay of composing a message while suffering from an active panic event.

  • Pre-write & store up to 5 custom alert sms text messages
  • Alerts can be instantly sent with the press of a button