Let's fight for our mental health
A mobile app designed to help African Americans find counselors that share their cultural background. A key feature of this app offers a quick touch point with a short questionnaire to diagnose the issue and, when available, a phone or video call.
Mental health has been a taboo topic in the African American community, which often furthers isolation. Because of this, African Americans struggle to reach out for help. When I started counseling, I quickly noticed the difficulty of finding a counselor that shared my cultural background. If I did not already have a positive view of counseling, I would have given up.
This app was designed with users like me in mind. Knowing how hard it is to pursue something with little cultural support, addressing the mental health of the user in every interaction was extremely important, from the onboarding to the home page.
Quick touchpoint available (call or video chat) to increase the chances of follow-through
Easy search to find a counselor online or local
Matching agent to assist users to find the right counselor, reduces the "try-out" process
The home page offers resources to educate the user about counseling
Competitor Analysis & User Research
Better Help is an online portal that provides direct-to-consumer access to behavioral health services. They require the user to put a credit card on file very quickly, which could be a barrier to someone already nervous about pursuing counseling.
Talkspace Online Therapy is a completely online counseling service. Users are able to quickly talk to the matching agent, who gathers more information to better assist in finding the right counselor. They offered a great onboarding experience with helpful tips to get someone comfortable with counseling.
Instead of seeking professional help for conditions such as depression and anxiety, many in the community resort to self-medication (drugs, pornography, alcohol, etc.) or isolation in an attempt to solve their problems on their own. This issue of masking the pain is especially prevalent amongst black men.
Problems in Testing
In the first design of the app, I used themes and wording from meditation apps such as Calm & Headspace. When testing, a few of the users mentioned that it could be a lot to ask a user to diagnose themselves, considering the lack of cultural support and the potential of the user being unable to name their own feelings---things you learn in counseling or from a healthy emotional home. Here was the first design.
After doing some research with this new information, I found an app called Depression Test, which helps you discover whether you have depression by asking questions.
Final Idea After Testing
In the final design, I changed it to asking more indirect questions to help the user diagnose their struggle.