Transition from life in the ADF can present significant challenges for veterans who no longer have the structure and support of the defence community. Soldier.ly was launched to develop a user-friendly technology that enables veterans to track their stress levels and be alerted to increasing stress, allowing them to take action through calming exercises or contacting support networks before stress escalates and dangerous behaviours occur.
The idea for the Soldier.ly app came two years ago when Soldier.ly’s founder Chris Rhyss Edwards survived a suicide attempt after being interrupted by an SMS. Chris found himself on top of a seven-storey building after his marriage fell apart and that single SMS from a friend asking ‘Are you OK?’ saved his life. He has since focused his life on developing the awardwinning, world-first smartwatch technology for the veteran community.
Soldier.ly is currently working closely with Open Arms and plans to run a national pilot of the app with Australian veterans and via their global Fitbit partnership, will soon engage with up to 1.5 million veterans in the U.S. Chris acknowledges that this past year has been one of the most stressful and steepest learning curves in his life, trying to maintain a healthy worklife balance in the face of running a start-up.