Every 40 seconds a human being takes his or her own life. Every 40 seconds.
Suicide hotlines have been effective in helping troubled individuals change course and find new hope and meaning in their lives, but imagine the gravity of this task given the number of suicides as compared to the number of suicide hotlines and traditional approaches available today.
So how can we “scale” support with technology?
MindMe is a mobile application that uses real time communications to deliver therapy more efficiently, including engaging people at risk to help themselves help professionals – help them.
I am so proud today to be part of a company – GENBAND and it’s Kandy communications as a service platform Kandy – supporting the MindMe team of scientists, therapists and technologists in developing a “window of hope” that works on any connected “pane of glass.”
No question, this approach is leading edge and so new that it’s even hard people to wrap their minds around. The MindMe team, lead by the visionary Dr. David Purtrino, works with leading institutions including Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital, Burke Medical Research Institute/Weill Cornell Medical College and mobile software company Interlectato radically improve technology surrounding the field of suicide prevention.
“Every single member of our team is dedicated to the goal of improving access to a high standard of mental health care that everyone deserves,” their fundraising site on Experiment.com says.
It’s true. I’ve met the team, many of whom participated in our Kandymobile New York City event last autumn. Their passion for their mission is pure and strong, and it has been an honor and joy to be part of the Kandy team bringing them the latest WebRTC platform capabilities to make it possible for at-risk individuals to engage in their own path to wellness, while also being able to immediately reach a professional when they are on the brink.
Having lost a dear family friend to a suicide several years ago, I support this work in honor of that friend and our family.
Suicide also touched MindMe team member Anna Smeragliuolo’s life. On the fund raising site, she bravely shares:
“MindMe is a project that became incredibly close to my heart after my father’s death by suicide this past Christmas. Accordingly, I am extremely passionate about mental health awareness and suicide prevention. My father spent his career as a social worker, teaching and treating adolescents with behavioral disorders. Please help me carry on his legacy of good work by donating to our cause.”
I will be contributing and invite you to “invest” as well,via the Experiment.com platform.
I will write soon on experiment.com, which “is a platform for funding scientific discoveries.”
Mind Me is seeking funding to develop MindMe for a large-scale clinical trial, with a long-term goal to “demonstrate that appropriate use of MindMe can prevent suicide in at-risk populations.”
Inspiring? Without a doubt. Possible? Most definitely. When we come to work to do this work, we can all feel proud of being able to contribute to visionary initiatives that can make a lasting difference.