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ThriveOn Hacks Mental Health Care

Mental health isn't a popular topic in America--a country that invented "the Hollywood ending." In our bigger, faster, stronger culture, admitting that you have the mental-equivalent of a broken arm can make one feel vulnerable to being stigmatized as "weak" or "lazy." We over-share all the great things in our lives on Facebook, but no one wants to post a status update about not being able to get out of bed or having problems concentrating.

ThriveOn, a new service announced this week at SXSW to much acclaim, wants to help our society talk about mental health and promises to help Americans receive affordable treatment.

BusinessInsider reports on this new start-up:

Even if you have insurance, not every quality psychiatrist has to accept it. So even an insured person could end up paying $300 per session.

Enter mental health startup ThriveOn, which just won the health category at the South by Southwest accelerator competition. ThriveOn is an online and mobile service that offers intake, counseling, and exercises for people with mental health issues. The idea is to make mental health care as easy as other online services by helping patients avoid long wait times, in-person interactions, and costly fees.

When you first sign up, you take the assessment to get a full report of your well-being across five different aspects of mental health: mood, stress, anxiety, body image, and sleep.

Based on your results, you'll choose a personalized program of sessions, all of which have been developed based on methodologies in clinical psychology. Each session is a combination of reading, interactive exercises, mood and behavior tracking, and weekly feedback from your ThriveOn coach.

Depression impacts 14.8 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Treatment of course depends on the individual. Big Think interviewed Dr. Andrew Weil about the best of Western and Eastern medical approaches.

For more insight into confronting the stigma associated with mental health issues, watch this inspiring viral video of Kevin Breel, a teenage comic who shares his story of battling depression.

       Image credit: aldenchadwick/Flickr

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