It’s no secret that mental health is routinely treated differently than physical health, but sometimes it’s difficult to understand how or why this affects us. It is not the same thing as the absence of mental illness but includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being as well.

Mental health care challenges that inspired our hack were:

  • Access to care & support
  • Workforce shortages
  • Quality of care and variation in practice
  • Social discrimination
  • And Lack of funding

So these types of challenges gave us an idea of why not help in bridging this gap by connecting different communities and people so that they can help each other with mental care support by connecting help seekers and helpers in private chatrooms.

What it does

We have built MindPeer in such a way that it bridges the gap between people who need support for mental health care and verified people who can lend them ears and provide support by creating a safe space.

The way it works, you can add yourself as a helper or a person who needs help.

  • Scenario 1: When you are a help seeker, you can choose for private chatrooms if you are comfortable enough for that otherwise you can choose for good consulting service suggestions which may be helpful for your issue type.

  • Scenario 2: When you are a helper, you'll be asked different sets of questions to know your expertise and later your request will be reviewed and verified through email communication.

Once the requests have been approved, help seekers and helpers can communicate in private chatrooms to discuss, solve, and support each other issues.

When faced with an emergency, a member can reach out to any of his favorite communities or helper.

How we built it

We have built this bot by connecting the Dialogflow NLU engine with Facebook messenger platform APIs. Further, we have used cloud functions for listening to Messenger platform webhooks and process posts. We have also used Facebook Graph API to pass the control thread and notify the user when a private chatroom has been created with a helper.

Challenges we ran into

We faced many challenges while building this but that only made our journey interesting.

  • Passing the control thread
  • Testing and changing the bot quickly

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  1. We were able to come up with a working prototype of the product that effectively matched help-seekers with potential peer-vetted help-givers.
  2. Created a seamless way of providing help for mental care such that any request doesn't go unattended, gets full support, and no spam messages.
  3. Help givers are verified through email so that there could be one to one communication for fair results.
  4. If possible, people committed to making a difference are matched efficiently as per their location.

What's next for MindPeer

  • Facebook business app review
  • Phone number helpline
  • Sentiment analysis
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