Vic: White Flag
‘Helping people heal, helps me heal”
By Vic MacDonald, Editor
Before we get too far away from Mental Health Awareness Month, I would like to share some information out of Myrtle Beach. This comes my way as a Globe Newswire release related to a mobile phone app that connects people struggling with their mental health to free, 24/7 customized peer-to-peer support.
White Flag has announced that it has raised $500,000 in its first investment from an angel investor. CEO and founder Jonny McCoy leads the team alongside co-founder Chief Technology Officer, Trent Tinker. Chief of Operations Patricia McCoy, Vice President Kash Kiefer, and adviser Joey Jackson round out the executive team. The news release continues:
“WhiteFlag is an anonymous, safe space where people who are silently suffering can connect with others who understand their struggle — 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said McCoy. “The app was built by people who know the struggle, the loneliness and the hurdles to finding help. We are grateful for the belief, encouragement and support that we have received from our investors and we look forward to working with them to make positive changes in millions of people’s lives across the country.”
A Myrtle Beach native and successful civil rights attorney, McCoy has dedicated his life to fighting for people’s rights. In the midst of a career spent representing major insurance companies, professional athletes and public officials, his world collapsed when he was falsely arrested and witnessed a suicide while being unlawfully detained. As a result, his mental health suddenly took a dark turn. He found himself struggling with an alcohol and prescription drug addiction as well as unrelenting PTSD, anxiety and depression.
“When I was at my lowest point, the isolation was absolutely crushing. Coupled with the alcohol and pill dependency, the struggle was unbearable as I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone what was going on. My real healing started when I began connecting with others who were struggling through the same things,” said McCoy. “WhiteFlag is built for everyone, including those who feel disconnected, alone and helpless — the people who desperately need to hear someone say ‘I understand how you feel’ and mean it. In addition, folks who are looking for a way to help can easily find those who need it the most. At WhiteFlag, we live by the mantra, ‘helping people heal, helps me heal.”
McCoy developed the idea for WhiteFlag following a stay in a PTSD treatment facility several years ago. Production of the app began last summer after McCoy launched a series of mental health-oriented programs in Horry County, including a PTSD support group and the Horry County Citizen’s Crisis Response, a charity known for assisting locals with their personal and mental health needs at the beginning of the pandemic.
WhiteFlag will be available for download in the Google Play and Apple stores in early June and is currently seeking beta testers. To participate in the app’s beta test or to learn more about WhiteFlag, visit: whiteflagapp.com
I know next to nothing about phone apps, and I’ll probably keep it that way - some of them involve the spending of money that I don’t have. But, if you are into that kind of thing and need Mental Health help, please look into it as you feel comfortable. If not there, seek help somewhere.
Do not go through the dark alone.
(Remember: 1-800-273-8255, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Vic MacDonald is editor of The Clinton Chronicle. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chronicle. MacDonald can be reached at 833-1900.)