Supportiv is a forum where everyone can be vulnerable and talk safely about job stress, relationship problems, family drama, or anything else. It’s mental wellness for everyone, in a way that tackles the major barriers of cost, availability and stigma.
SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) June 12, 2018
Supportiv, the digital mental health app in stealth since January, is announcing that its anonymous support groups have helped over 48,000 users feel less stressed, lonely, angry, sad, anxious and depressed. Starting today, Supportiv will be available on the App Store and Google Play for free, with an extremely affordable in-app purchase model that addresses the most vexing problem in healthcare: cost. Users pay just $0.15 per minute for anonymous peer support that’s led by a trained moderator. They also get instant recommendations and referrals to content and services that address their needs. Every user receives the first 15 minutes of support free of charge.
Co-Founder Helena Plater-Zyberk says, “While we might project happiness on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, real life is a struggle. The community we seek to lean on during hardships is fractured. Supportiv is a forum where everyone can be vulnerable and talk safely about job stress, relationship problems, family drama, or anything else. Our users say they feel relief from talking it out with real people who can relate. It’s mental wellness for everyone, in a way that tackles the major barriers of cost, availability and stigma.”
Supportiv started with the premise that adults who are struggling with typical life challenges prefer the help of real people who can identify with their circumstances and hardships, which is not necessarily what a therapist can offer. Co-Founder Pouria Mojabi resolved to create a de-stigmatized, anonymous mental health solution after losing a friend to suicide, one who showed almost no public signs of distress, much like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.
“What makes Supportiv so easy is that the user starts by typing in one just sentence to let us know what’s on their mind. Our natural language processing and proprietary similarity matching capabilities take it from there,” says Mojabi. “We’re creating dynamic, hyper-targeted peer groups from concurrent users experiencing the same life struggles. Then we’re again using natural language processing to surface real-time recommendations. Artificial intelligence in healthcare is usually leveraged for big data analysis. We’ve made it central to the solution itself. Nothing like this has been created before.”
Supportiv’s co-founders were determined not to create a solution that was only affordable for the affluent, or only accessible by populations sponsored by health plans and large employers. “By imposing our own 15-cents-per-minute pricing constraint, we flipped the way tech solutions are typically designed. We pushed for a breakthrough in how artificial intelligence can be leveraged to decimate the cost of providing real-time human care delivery,” says Plater-Zyberk.
The group moderators are all paid psychology students who’ve undergone thorough training. They receive mobile push alerts when a new support group has formed and needs their attention. Their main role is to keep the user experience positive and troll-free and to ensure the accuracy of the resource and service recommendations that are surfaced during live chats. Supportiv takes the peer support concept that’s been proven to work in settings like addiction treatment and infectious disease containment and digitizes it with precision, in a perpetually scalable way that would never be possible in the real world.
The 48,000 pre-launch users, over 90% of whom self-report mental wellness improvement, show that Supportiv’s model is ready to scale rapidly.