A FUN-FILLED free computer programme has been launched to help improve mental health – at the touch of a button.

The Happy Place app encourages people to snap pictures of places in their neighbourhood that they love and make them feel good.

Runcorn based community business Wellbeing Enterprises CIC hopes it will create the first citizen led happy map in the world.

A competition is being held to find the best Happy Place which can be beautiful, quirky, inspiring, fun or tranquil.

People are being challenged to go on an adventure and become treasure hunters with £500 in gift vouchers up for grabs.

Chief executive officer Mark Swift said: “It was my idea. It is really good fun, a bit like a Pokemon Go of places.

“People struggling with mental health problems will be able to discover all these wonderful places where they can go and feel better.”

The Happy Place app even has a mood-o-meter to record people’s mood and measure wellbeing.

Using validated health measures the technology can analyse the impact that happy places have on how people feel.

Encouraging people to go outside and discover somewhere new and energising has proved to lead to a happier, healthier life.

Places that make people smile can improve people’s health and wellbeing.

The pioneering project has been linked into the Healthy New Town initiative which has selected Runcorn’s Halton Lea as one of 10 places in the UK where health will be at the heart of 800 new homes.

Mark said: “We have been commissioned to undertake a pilot. Once the data has been uploaded we will be able to inform the regeneration plans.”

The app has game technology built in so people will be able to undertake Happy Place challenges and visit certain locations to win points and trophies.

Mark added: “We’re on a mission to help people to discover places in their community that make them feel good.

“Halton is packed full of places of outstanding beauty and heritage from award winning parks, waterways, Norton Priory and Runcorn old town.

“By using the app members of our community can upload images of these places and encourage others to visit them. That way we can promote and protect our community assets for future generations.”

The competition closes on November 17. Winners will be announced on December 1.

To download the free Happy Place app search ‘happyplace’ from iTunes and Googleplay store.