✨ Wellness Wisdom vol.16

FAANG x 🧠mental health

Welcome to the 16th volume of Wellness Wisdom, a newsletter covering the mental health tech space + best resources to support your internal space.

Morning amazing human!

I hope you’ve been well ☀️It’s been a crazy past week in between launching Newsletter Stack and settling into a new living situation. I’ll let my newsletter do most of the talking this week ☺️

☝️one take

The ubiquity of online platforms enable them to be uniquely positioned to empower those seeking mental health support. I believe that technology can—and should—help move people towards action, whether it’s through connections to the right services or normalizing the mental health experiences we all go through.

Todays “one take” features the myriad of takes technology companies have on supporting our mental health.

It’s interesting to notice how deeply embedded in the product some of these mental health features are: From being entrenched in the core hardware, like Apple’s panic attack tracking feature.. all the way to temporal marketing plays, like Dropbox’s wellness folders.

I believe that companies serious about making an impact in mental health tend to put their money where their product (not marketing) roadmap is.

Here’s how Apple, Snapchat, Riot Games, Reddit, Google, Spotify, Netflix, and Dropbox have all approached mental health in the past month - in order of product to marketing.

  • The next version of Apple Watch will warn wearers of oncoming panic attacks, track your sleep, and feature something called “Mental Health Abnormalties Detection”.

    • Through a blood-oxygen sensor and heart rate readings, the watch will determine if a wearer is hyperventilating.

    • If you’re driving or moving, the watch will ask you to pause to offer breathing exercises.

    • In terms of health features, it'll offer sleep tracking, to measure quality and length.

  • Snapchat is rolling out “Here For You” search tool that surfaces mental health resources when users search for topics like anxiety, depression, suicide, or bullying.

    • Snapchat has one of the youngest audiences of any social media platform. It reaches 90 percent of 13- to 24-year-olds, a group especially vulnerable to bullying or suggestive content.

    • They also recently added a coronavirus-specific section that will provide content on corona-induced anxiety from CDC, NHS, and Crisis Text Line.

  • Riot Games (developer of League of Legends) is partnering with Crises Text Line to offer free confidential text support for gamers facing a mental health crises. Players in the US and Canada can send the message “RIOT” to 741741 for support. 

    • Riot Games also already works with Active Minds, a nonprofit that promotes mental health education and healthy gaming practices. 

    • In a 2019 survey, 50% of gamers ranked “good health and mental well-being” as their top priority, above quality education, climate change, clean energy and poverty reduction.

  • Reddit is also integrating with Crisis Text Line to offer 24/7 support to those in crisis

    • Reddit users will be able to flag others whose posts indicate they’re struggling or in crisis.

    • The flagged user is then immediately sent a private message offering them resources + optional a helpline where they’ll be connected with a crisis counselor

    • This seems like a natural extension of Reddit’s core product that offers forums for those facing challenges in their life. I.e. r/KindVoice, r/CasualConversation, r/StopSmoking.

  • Google launches a clinical questionnaire for all users who search for information about anxiety

    • Google will not collect or share users' answers or results, but will show users how their self-reported anxiety levels compare to other respondents' levels.

    • This is the third mental health screener Google has made available via its search function. It has previously provided questionnaires and information for users whose searches pertained to PTSD and depression

  • Spotify launched curated Daily Wellness playlists that feature a mix of music podcasts and meditations

    • The Daily Wellness refreshes 2x/day, increasing your exposure to new music and podcasts.

    • Morning playlist focuses on motivation. i.e.  inspirational quotes, intention-setting prompts, and positive words. Evening playlist shifts to help you unwind with mindfulness meditation and relaxing music.

  • Netflix launched a new series on Instagram that focuses on taking care of your mental health during the pandemic

    • Actors like Joey King (The Kissing Booth) and Lana Condor (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before) will chat with experts on their experiences with mental health.


🗞 news in the m-health tech space

Headspace raised $47.7M for its meditation app in equity funding with support from Series A, B, and C lead investors - an extension to its latest Series C round.

  • 🤔 why it’s interesting: Headspace said it will continue to invest in its Headspace for Work segment, which has seen its revenue double year over year. It’s also making a push to go international through translations of the app in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German. I wonder if the push for enterprise and international represents saturation of TAM for its core consumer offering?

Advekit raised $2.6M led by Moment Ventures for its therapist matchmaking platform.

  • 🤔 why it’s interesting: When I saw this, my immediate thoughts were: do we really need another therapist match making product? However, what intrigued me was Advekit’s focus on automating out the insurance gunk that comes with getting help. With the platform, patients leverage their out-of-network insurance benefits in real time and only pay what they owe to the provider, bypassing the gnarly process of submitting reimbursement claims.

📖 reads 

I have a single definition of success: you look in the mirror every evening, and wonder if you disappoint the person you were at 18, right before the age when people start getting corrupted by life.

Let him or her be the only judge; not your reputation, not your wealth, not your standing in the community, not the decorations on your lapel. If you do not feel ashamed, you are successful.

All other definitions of success are modern constructions; fragile modern constructions. Success requires absence of fragility. I’ve seen billionaires terrified of journalists, wealthy people who felt crushed because their brother in law got very rich, academics with Nobel who were scared of comments on the web. The higher you go, the worse the fall.

For almost all people I’ve met, external success came with increased fragility and a heightened state of insecurity. But self-respect is robust. 💯

also 😂

If someone wonders who are the Stoics, I’d say Buddhists with an attitude problem.

and 💯

But fame came with the crisis and I discovered that I hated fame, famous people, caviar, champagne, complicated food, expensive wine and, mostly wine commentators. I like mezze with local Arak baladi, including squid in its ink (sabbidej), no less no more, and wealthy people tend to have their preferences dictated by a system meant to milk them.

Pleasure in itself cannot give our existence meaning; thus the lack of pleasure cannot take away meaning from life.


🎶 listen

  • Michael A. Singer (author of The Untethered Soul) gives a POWERFUL interview that blew my mind 🤯. My main takeaways:

    What you think you want is the job, the school, the title - but what you truly truly want is acceptance, fulfillment, love, joy, and peace. A sense of wellbeing.

    • Here’s the thing: we have a direct line of access to feel joy and wellbeing. Right now.

    • It is ourselves and society at large that places conditions on being open to receiving these feelings. Society benefits from this because #capitalism.  

    • Your mind is setting the conditions. So why don’t you just eliminate that? If you don’t have preferences, life is amazing. Even the challenges.

    • Ok, but what’s the point of life without goals? Michael says that the obtainment of goals enables us to feel open to joy. Through exploring the greatest depths of our potential, we feel alive. That is why we should pursue them, but never forget that along the way we have every capacity within ourselves to access the joy, fulfillment, we've been seeking.


🧘‍♀️ tools/activities  


food for 💭

Be well ❤️,

Patricia


Thank you for being part of The Wellness Wisdom Stack today. I have a full-time job as a product manager but curate this newsletter in my free time as a labor of love. If you’re enjoying it and want to express your appreciation, please feel free to spread the word, buy me a coffee, or lmk your thoughts/feedback ☕️

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Who’s behind this newsletter?

Patricia is a curious human, product manager, virtual librarian, and carer of souls. Reach me on Twitter or LinkedIn.