Understory Kids is an innovative application with a mission to revolutionize children’s mental health. Our platform provides a virtual group therapy solution, making mental health support more accessible and cost-effective for kids. Additionally, it offers psychologists a dedicated platform and AI assistance to enhance their diagnosis and intervention processes.
Tell us about yourself?
My background and motivation for entering this line of work stem from my experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a concerned parent, I observed the impact of the pandemic on my children’s mental health and socialization, and I recognized the challenges and costs of providing proper mental health support. Leveraging my finance background, I collaborated with friends who shared the same concerns to develop a cost-effective solution to support our kids’ mental health.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Looking back a year or two, I would advise myself that while the journey to improve children’s mental health is filled with unpredictable challenges, it is undeniably worth every effort. Building a qualified and dedicated team is essential, as it enables us to address these challenges collectively and work toward our greater vision.
What problem does your business solve?
Our business is committed to addressing the pressing problem of untreated mental health issues in children. We recognize that the shortage of specialists, the challenges, costs, and time constraints associated with in-person therapy sessions can hinder children from receiving the care they need. To solve this issue, Understory Kids provides a virtual group therapy platform, offering a more accessible and convenient alternative for children. Additionally, we support school counselors and new psychologists by providing them with a platform and tools, such as games and AI-based session analysis, to enhance their practice management and intervention strategies.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Our inspiration stems from the concerning number of untreated mental health issues and their profound impact on the lives and futures of children. The evident shortage of experts in the field to address this problem prompted us to explore innovative ways to provide broader access to mental health expertise. Our solution is designed to benefit both children in need of support and therapists looking for effective tools to enhance their practice.
What is your magic sauce?
Our unique approach lies in our innovative use of AI. We’ve introduced an AI-based assistant that supports therapists by analyzing therapy sessions and furnishing them with valuable data and suggestions about their clients. This not only enhances the effectiveness of interventions but also encourages more specialists to join the field. Additionally, we provide ice-breaking games for every session, fostering group dynamics and making group therapy more engaging.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
In the next five years, we aim to establish ourselves as a prominent leader in children’s mental health by forging strategic partnerships and actively participating in key industry events. Our focus will be on enhancing the accessibility and effectiveness of mental health services through technology-based solutions and AI advancements. Our goal is to create a world where every child in need of therapy can readily access the support they require, fostering a society that prioritizes the mental well-being of its youngest members.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Working in the field of children’s mental health presents a unique set of challenges due to the sensitive nature of this work and the distinct needs and characteristics of the individuals involved. This sensitivity has made us acutely aware of the responsibility we bear towards the children we serve, and we keep their well-being at the forefront of every decision and action. It has required us to maintain a high level of care and consideration throughout our journey, making us vigilant and adaptable in navigating this sensitive and important domain.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
People get involved and align with our vision by recognizing the pressing need for children’s mental health support. We actively seek partnerships with schools, children’s mental health institutes, like-minded organizations, and dedicated psychologists, inviting them to collaborate with us in making a difference. We provide educational resources and advocate for the importance of children’s mental health, raising awareness and inspiring others to join us in this journey.