The reactive approach of the current mental health care system has proven insufficient, as evidenced by a 20% increase in depression cases over a decade  and a 6.7% rise in global suicide rates from 2000 to 2019 . A significant contributing factor is the constraint on mental health care due to the limited supply of providers; the World Health Organization reports that there is a global shortage of mental health professionals, with a median of just 9 mental health workers per 100,000 people .
Research highlights the importance of prevention and early intervention, which can reduce depression rates by 20-25% .
I possess a strong understanding of transforming ideas into products, as well as firsthand experience with the challenges of mental health care.
As an example of my capabilities, I developed a project at PayPal during the peak of the COVID pandemic to help small businesses affected by lockdowns. Over four weekends, I created a product that enabled small businesses to use their social networks as a new sales channel. I launched the product with 1% of small businesses in the US, and after its initial success, I scaled it up to 100% within the next month. During its first year, the product generated over $5M in revenue. Now, a dedicated team at PayPal manages the product full time:
In my current role, I am the sole web engineer on a team of researchers and ML engineers, responsible for building user experiences and services that make neural networks useful for solving user problems.
My personal journey with mental health care began three years ago when a doctor finally asked me, "In the past six months, have you thought about hurting yourself?" One of my deepest regrets is that this question came six years too late.
Due to the fragmentation of the mental health care system, I had to design my own treatment plan. A Psychotherapist rarely encourages the exploration of medication, and an Integrative medicine professional seldom suggests considering SSRIs.
mymindand.me is the answer to what I wish had existed for me.
Recent advancements in AI & NLP enable us to understand minds at a scale through their unique languages, creating an opportunity to address the biggest constraint in mental health care: the limited availability of providers.
mymindand.me aims to address these challenges by leveraging recent advancements in NLP to provide personalized, accessible, and preventative mental health support while ensuring privacy and cost-effectiveness.
We use NLP to analyze journal entries and gain insights into users' emotions, reasons behind those emotions, duration of feelings, and past experiences related to their current state.
Insights from journal analysis enable the creation of personalized support systems, offering tailored interventions such as:
Resurfacing happy memories during moments of sadness
Connecting users to therapists and communities when they need more support
Establishing feedback loops between users, therapists, and the platform to enhance the effectiveness of care
Identifying patterns and offering insights on how users can better manage their mental health.
Create cohorts of users experiencing similar life situations for cost-effective group therapy sessions, as various studies have shown the efficacy of group therapy in coping with difficult life situations .
Progress & Traction
mymindand.me was conceived 2.5 months ago.
We conducted a silent launch of MVP 3 weeks ago by sharing link in some slack groups, attracting 30 initial users.
We are currently collaborating with these users to fine-tune the product.
We are also exploring collaboration with a non-profit organization focused on supporting veterans.
Some Long Term Thoughts
Our environment is evolving way faster than our biology (Genome) can keep up. A lot of responses that are encoded into our DNA (instincts) aren't merely useless in this environment; they severely put us at a disadvantage. So much for "Follow your instincts."
In the past, it took a chance encounter and days of travel to find a tree with sweet berries. Yet today, our instinct to gorge on sweet treats leads many people to struggle with eating disorders.
The systems responsible for regulating protective responses, like anxiety and low mood, constantly malfunction due to the disharmony between our environment and biology. Unfortunately, the majority of mental health care has spent the last few decades confusing this dysregulation with diseases, leading to billions of dollars in misguided research spending.
At mymindand.me, we want to build an Operating System that augments the evolution of our biology and restores harmony between our minds and environment. By leveraging recent advancements in NLP, we can listen and understand minds at scale through their unique languages. Building an ecosystem that brings together various stakeholders—patients, researchers, and professionals—empowered by this data, can help us redefine mental health care, creating lasting change.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Whether this is a clinical or consumer product?
mymindand.me aims to be a healthcare company with both consumer and clinical components. For the immediate future, our focus will be on the consumer aspect and preventative mental health. As we progress, we plan to integrate clinical components to provide a comprehensive mental health care experience.
World Health Organization. (2017). Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates.
Alexopoulos, G. S., Reynolds, C. F., Bruce, M. L., Katz, I. R., Raue, P. J., Mulsant, B. H., ... & Area, P. (2011). Early Intervention to Reduce the Global Health and Economic Burden of Major Depression in Older Adults.
Santrock, J. W., & Hurlburt, R. T. (1983). The effects of group counseling on children of divorce. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 12(2), 159-165.
Kelly, J. F., & Yeterian, J. D. (2011). The role of mutual-help groups in extending the framework of treatment. Alcohol Research & Health, 33(4), 350.
Kissane, D. W., & Bloch, S. (2002). Family Focused Grief Therapy: A Model of Family-Centered Care during Palliative Care and Bereavement. Open University Press.
Cunningham, A. J. (2000). Group psychological therapy for cancer patients: A brief discussion of indications for its use, and the range of interventions available. Supportive Care in Cancer, 8(3), 175-182.
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