This blog was originally written by Morgan Rosenberg of Supports Health.
This week, the world lost two legends – Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain – to suicide. Every day, over 300 Canadians, and over 2500 in the Americans are hospitalized for attempted suicide.
While society has begun to raise awareness about mental health, that’s not enough for local entrepreneur Morgan Rosenberg. He explains “After three years of caring for my partner at the time, I realized how hard it can be to support someone with depression. Especially without any way of learning what to do when, and no system set up to support me, it felt impossible at times”. That is why he founded Supports Health, a social tech enterprise on a mission to support the family and friend caregivers of those with depression and anxiety.
“The more I talked about my story, and everything I wish I knew when I started, the more I realized how common an experience this is”. The Mental Health Commission of Canada reports that the three things caregivers need most is easy access to the right information, skills to manage the heaviness of caregiving, and social and emotional support for themselves. While this can take many forms, Rosenberg explains from his research, the best way to deliver this is through an app. Global research studied the impact of giving the family of those struggling with depression a simple, self-guided Behavioural Therapy curriculum, and found that not only did it immunize caregivers from the impact of caregiving, but it actually made them better caregivers.
“That’s what we’re trying to do”, Rosenberg explains. “The system’s lack of support is baffling. Most of care is provided at home, and caregivers often are the primary person responsible for navigating a complex and overburdened health care system for the person their caring for. It’s not like these people are professionals – I wasn’t. And with one in five Canadians developing a mental illness in their lifetime, it’s likely we will all be caregivers at some point in our lives”.
Supports Health is currently part of TechAlliance’s BURST program, which Rosenberg credits to the company’s ability to turn an idea into a reality. The company is in the final stages of research and development, and will be launching their caregiver app in October.
But Rosenberg explains, that while he’s committed do building the product right, October is far too long to wait.
“One thing entrepreneurship has taught me, there’s always a way to drive the change that needs to happen in the world, each day. It’s just a matter of finding it. That’s why we created this petition, to push the system to change”.