SOLVING INDIVIDUALS’ MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS SOLVES PROBLEMS FOR THE ENTIRE SOCIETY
LACK OF CONFIDENCE
One time, a dear friend, Izabela Witoszko, a PM at Semantic Machines (now part of Microsoft) asked me what problem in the world I would like to solve. I said, “lack of confidence.” She was utterly surprised by my non-tech simple response… I told her, “I think that if people were more confident they would go out and solve world problems in their areas of expertise. Even at MIT, believe it or not, there is a big problem with students lacking confidence. Imagine if more of these rocket scientists would go out to implement solutions…we would definitely have fewer problems in the world. If students at MIT feel insecure about themselves even when they have support and access to funding on campus, just imagine how others who don’t have all of that must feel.”
A NON-ZERO-SUM GAME
THE SOLUTION LIES IN THE MARRIAGE OF SELF SURVEILLANCE & THE PANOPTICON
The problem with trying to solve individuals’ mental health problems is that they also need to commit to paying attention to their own behaviors and the have the willingness to improve.
People with mental health issues are unaware of the impact of how their mental health affects others. It’s harsh to describe depression as selfish and unfair to the person’s support system (those surrounding them) – but I believe it’s true. Those who have experienced living with a depressed family member – they can relate to how this “negative” energy drains them emotionally. Particularly, when the individual is either addicted to being in a depressed state, doesn’t show effort / desire to improve, etc.
Wellness is fueling many consumer goods industry and breaking many pockets. This is not what this is about. You don’t need a crystal to heal your energy or an expensive retreat to shake out your demons.
The reason why I mention depression is because it can be tied to self-image and confidence in many cases. There are around 1,000 mental health startups in the space right now – who do you think will solve the problem?
Photo Credits: Unsplash, The Noun Project