“It isn’t about how hard you fall, but how well you can pick yourself up.” – Kurien Thomas, Co-Founder of Pick-Me-Up
This foundational statement of Pick-Me-Up explains it all. Pick-Me-Up is building a system of resilience by providing mental health tools and support for everyone and anyone.
Unfortunately, anxiety, stress, and other mental health struggles are more prevalent now than ever. Suicide rates are at an all-time high for teens and young adults. Almost everyone has either encountered a personal experience related to mental health or knows someone with their own story.
Pick-Me-Up was created by founders Sasha Duckworth, Emily Smith, and Kurien Thomas through the non-profit, Junior Achievement's, afterschool Company Program. Their original product was a self-care box containing a curated collection of wellness items and mindfulness exercises aimed to help people experiencing difficult times.
The founders put Pick-Me-Up on hold when entering college, but continued to ponder what the company could be. Last year, Kurien applied on a whim to the American Evolution Innovators Cup hosted by the Tom Tom Founders Festival in Charlottesville, VA. After receiving the opportunity to pitch their venture again, the team came back together and won 2nd place in the competition. The next day they enthusiastically decided to reinstate Pick-Me-Up.
As COVID-19 hit, the founders took the opportunity to incorporate technology into their venture. Adding superstar coder Ian Reyes to the team, they built an online service to continue providing inspiration and support to others dealing with hardship.
“When you give them a journal and tell them to write in it not everyone is going to do that.” – Emily Smith, Co-Founder of Pick-Me-Up
Pick-Me-Up offers an easy texting method to track your emotions. A user can enter their phone number on the company’s website and start a text conversation with a chatbot. The chatbot will pose questions related to how the individual is feeling and how strong their emotions are. These questions are asked daily to record emotions and find patterns. Mental health professionals can also connect with their patients through the website and have access to their chatbot responses.
Their platform is accessible, secure, and simple to use. The chatbot is a means to facilitate accountability, a challenge most mental health professionals face with their patients. With Pick-Me-Up, providers can maintain contact with their patients without giving away their personal phone numbers or urging frequent visits.
Pick-Me-Up is continually improving its service. The founders are developing their platform to be able to collect deeper insights for mental health professionals and promote closer relationships between providers and their patients. Future versions of the software will include more chatbot conversation options, the ability for providers to send regimen reminders, and a distress detection competency.
Pick-Me-Up contains personalizable features and services designed to ensure patients feel supported even when they’re not directly with their therapists.
This venture is committed to destigmatizing mental health and addressing these issues that typically go overlooked. The founders of Pick-Me-Up are eager and passionate about impacting how mental health is addressed. They hope to build resilience in others, “pick them up” and ultimately:
“Create a better world for people.” – Sasha Duckworth