The world is currently facing a mental health crisis with 1 in every 4 adults living with some mental illness. This has lead to a huge upsurge in demand for mental health services, and many countries including Iceland facing difficulty in meeting that demand leading to people who require urgent services waiting too long. The inspiration for this project stems from the belief that there is an untapped market of mental health services, The Peer to Peer Market, which can help tremendously in alleviating the burden on the mental health service industry among a host of other benefits.
What it does
An app that anyone can register as either a helper or help seeker. If you are a helper you create a profile and register the type of problems you are qualified in helping others with (e.g depression, marriage, stress, ). There will be a verification system in the app and review system for all helpers. The helpers set and hourly rate for their services and wait to get matched with a help seeker.
From the patient side you register and list the issues you are currently facing. They then press "match me with a helper" and the built in algorithm in the app gives them a list of the most suitable counselors given their issues/background. Then through the built in chat system in the app they set up a meeting which can take place either face to face or through video conference call. After the service the patient reviews the helper.
How we built it
The app has not been built as of yet, but plans are already to get underway with a MVP as soon as possible.
Challenges we ran into
The greatest challenge will be to normalize the idea of people who are not educated or trained in mental health related fields to feel comfortable in not just offering their services but selling them.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We have done extensive research on peer to peer support and found strong evidence validating its effectiveness in helping people going through mental illness.
The prototype is currently being developed and is close to completion
We surveyed 100 people and found overwhelming support of the idea, both from people who would be interested in using it to offer their services and seek help.
What we learned
There is a need for a company like Auxilium to create a secure marketplace for peer to peer social services. This will offer people needing help a new alternative that is a fraction of the price it costs to go to therapy.
There is a need for innovation in tackling the mental health crisis in the world.
What's next for Auxilium
Develop App, gain support from within mental health community to build, develop business plan, secure funding and launch.