I wanted to take a brief detour from the usual ‘tips and tricks to mental well being’ and reflect on what a transformative year this has been for Inner Health. Steve Job’s famously said ’ You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backward’. For Inner Health this was a truly transformative year. Inner Health was born out of a desire to create a digital solution for young people struggling with mental wellbeing.
Conversations with clinicians, clients, digital health entrepreneurs, business experts seemed to suggest there was a need to innovate when it came to solving the problem of access to mental health care. A few months of work with a group of volunteers and contractors led me to believe that there was opportunity here. Then on Oct 18th, after months of working on Inner Health as a side project, I decided to devote myself full time to the actualization of Inner Health. Meeting Spencer, my CTO and Co-Founder, was a huge win and a milestone in the journey because it gave me technical and team support. With a prototype now built I gained access to clinical and business advisors of whom there are many to whom I am truly thankful to. They have taught me what is practical, possible and priority.
None of this has been easy. Startups are tough. One has to be persistent and lucky. As Seneca said “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. The experience has been humbling, uncomfortable, uncertain and filled with self doubt. The healthcare industry is kind and has a big heart but when it comes to the business of healthcare, it is complex, fragmented and exceptionally hard to navigate and access. As a first time founder and CEO, rejection is not quite the word for my experience, rather ‘you are not our priority’ would be a more accurate description of feelings of the last few months. Being pulled in multiple directions by the different unmet needs while trying to remain focused on the core vision of Inner Health that of saving lives of patients experiencing mental illness.
With all that said we have accomplished a lot. Spencer and I are co-managing Inner Health. We have built plans, delivered prototypes, prospected, delivered and received feedback. We have more plans for 2023. We have traveled to conferences and learnt from the primary care and behavioral health industry. We have done all of this on a bootstrapped budget and through the gracious contributions of contractors and volunteer subject matter experts. Inner Health feels more real to me than ever before.
As this year comes to an end, I am filled with lots of gratitude for all those clinicians who are tirelessly working to care for their patients. Despite their busy schedules, thank you for letting us
be part of your days. For the countless mentors who have taken time to check in and guide me, thank you for all your wisdom. For patients who have trusted us enough to participate and provide us feedback, thank you for your valuable input. For my family who has seen me go from working 60 hours on a full time position and a side project to working 40 hours on Inner Health on my own time and riding a rollercoaster of emotions, thank you for being patient with me. For my Co-Founder and CTO who trusted me to hop on the rollercoaster with me thank you for being a friend, contributor and business partner. For everyone else reading this thank you for being an integral part of Inner Health and for fueling the fire that keeps us going.
Here’s wishing everyone and your loved ones a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. May 2023 bring peace, prosperity and well being.