When you’re struggling with a mental illness, getting help can be scary and overwhelming. We wanted to make something simple to use that can be a starting point in assessing a patient’s struggles and then matching them to a qualified therapist who is skilled in those areas and able to help. We also wanted to make a platform that therapists can use to find new patients, whether that therapist has their own website or not.
What it does
Once a patient registers, they are led to take a questionnaire that assesses the area in which they struggle the most (for the purpose of this demo, we tested for 3 categories – mood (depression/anxiety/etc.) issues, family issues, and addiction issues. We then suggest a therapist from our database who specializes in that same area and provide that therapist’s contact information to the patient so they can seek treatment. Therapists are able to register so they are listed in our database and able to be matched to patients.
How we built it
We used HTML and vanilla JS with EJS templates for the frontend, along with Bootstrap and custom CSS for styling. We built the backend with Node.js | Express, and used MongoDB & Mongoose for our database.
Challenges we ran into
In the beginning, not everyone on our team knew how to use a frontend framework, so we decided to go with vanilla JS. As development progressed, 2 of our team members had to drop out. Fortunately, we picked up another team member a couple weeks into the project, giving us 4 team members total. Only 1 team member had experience with Node.js, so she built the backend all on her own. While we all were familiar with Git and GitHub, we didn’t have much experience using it in a team setting. As such, we had to resolve conflicts and figure out how to use GitHub successfully while collaborating as a team.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
In spite of losing team members and not everyone being fluent in the technologies chosen, we were able to build and deliver a working MVP with about 2 weeks total of coding. We were also able to figure out a GitHub workflow that allowed us to merge changes and manage conflicts successfully.
What we learned
Only 1 team member was familiar with node.js, so we all became a little more familiar with that. None of us had worked much with MongoDB before, but we wanted to learn, so we figured out how to work with MongoDB as well. We also gained a better understanding of how to manage GitHub when working with a team. We all learned that not everyone conceptualizes things the same way, so communication and patience are key! We had to discuss concepts and ideas repeatedly and clearly to ensure we were all on the same path and of the same mind.
What's next for Mental Mentor
In the future, we would love to build this out further. Ideally, we would like to develop a more thorough questionnaire that can assess the issues a patient is struggling with more deeply and accurately. As a result, they would be matched to multiple therapists with experience in several or all of the areas in which the patient is affected. We would also like to incorporate a Google Maps API that can take into account the patient’s location when matching them with therapists. These additions will give the patient more flexibility in whom they choose for their therapist. We would also like to further develop the platform on the therapist end, allowing therapists to build out their profile with more details, host teleconference appointments with their patients, and process payments.