Bad news: mental health stigmas exist. Good news: millennials are not shying away from creating disruptive technologies to try to change that. World Mental Health Day just passed this month (October 10th) but every day is a good day to try to break the taboo.

It’s a known fact that 1 in every 4 American adults suffer from a diagnosable mental illness each year. Nestor Velez is one of the million who knows first hand the affect of mental health illnesses. Coming from an “old school home where you fixed your own problems and mental health issues was just another way to give weak people excuses for their behaviors”, for him, “traditional therapy was not an option”. Instead, he turned to the bible, and looked for answers when he was struggling. He was met with only more questions. After a failed suicide attempt at the age of 19 Nestor realized he needed to find a solution that worked. He sought a solution that spoke with him, and let him know he wasn’t alone.

We’ll let Nestor tell this part of the story himself, “then one day when I found a YouTube video on how to cope with anxiety and depression…I felt I found something that actually made me feel better. Listening to content on how to cope, what is depression, triggers for anxiety, how to deal with issues, really really helped me a lot. Everyday on my commute to work I would listen to someone on YouTube talking about dealing with depression or anxiety. Some days I would search for up to an hour looking for content specific to me and some days I wouldn’t find anything. I thought if there was one platform I could go to where I could listen to audio content that was all about mental health topics from licensed therapists and counselors, that would be amazing.”

Nestor isn’t afraid to admit that throughout his entire life he’s battled with depression and anxiety. What he is afraid of, however, is that others suffering from the same side effects won’t get help, won’t know they’re not alone, and won’t understand it’s not taboo what they’re dealing with.

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Nestor is creating SanoMind, an on-demand mental health wellness platform that connects people to pre-recorded audio content from licensed therapists and counselors based on their mental and emotional needs.

Ideator is helping Nestor and his cohort discover useful websites and resources they wouldn’t have found on their own using Google. The Ideator team will do everything in their power to help you achieve those goals. SanoMind also connected with and shared knowledge with the team at ThoughtFile the digital platform helping therapists engage with and empower their patients between sessions.

Nestor has created fully functional interactive wireframes and is now looking for a technical cofounder. He’s constantly looking for more licensed therapists and counselors to provide content. Check out his website or connect with Nestor on Ideator here.

Nestor leaves us with a final note: mental health issues don’t discriminate. We need to remove the stigma behind mental health and come together to help one another. My dream is for SanoMind to one day be that community where not only mental health professionals help others but, individuals come together and help each other.

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