Diversifying Therapy with Demi FortsonPosted: 11 Apr 2023
In this episode, Rosie chats to Demi Fortson, Co-Founder at Mendü and Doctoral Student Researcher at Columbia University in the City of New York, about how we can diversify discussions around mental health and therapy.
We talk about the origins of Mendü, and it’s purpose. Mendü is a self-care app built with a culturally competent AI to talk through your problems with you. It promotes the premise of prompted audio journaling, whilst educating users on topics and feelings built on science and data.
“Our journaling prompts were made by diverse women for others facing similar life events. We are transforming the way therapeutic journaling and meditation is done by providing relevant and inclusive audio pieces you can connect with.”
We discuss how mental health stigma differs across cultures, countries and wealth, as well as how this discussion can be broadened to include more experiences, and how diagnostic criteria is linked to group (mis)understanding around certain topics.
Demi explains the differences in therapy and how we can look to become more inclusive and informed when looking for/recommending therapists for example. We look into the concept of audio journaling vs traditional journaling, and why it might be more appealing to many folks, and the usefulness/convenience of audio features.
Finally, we touch on our go-to games for anxiety and stress, whilst highlighting active participation from games vs passive consumption of media and how it can aid in distraction during stressful periods.
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