WeTree encourages users to seek help

Steve Cunningham and Lorenzo Gomez need folks feeling psychological well being stress from life to make use of their lately launched app referred to as WeTree to attach with household and shut buddies for assist. However whereas they search to profit from the assist of social networks, they are not looking for folks to consider their apps as social media.

In contrast to social media platforms similar to Fb and Twitter, which attempt to maintain customers engaged for so long as doable, thus producing as a lot promoting income as doable, WeTree strives to be a catalyst for therapeutic conservation in actual life. WeTree asks customers to fill out a fundamental questionnaire about their psychological well being, often called the Psychological Well being Minute, that asks what emotions they’re feeling, what they’re grateful for and what they’re experiencing – all with an emphasis on reinforcement and dependence on purposeful relationships.

“One of many issues that we present in our analysis is that the easiest way to guard your self from all of the issues which can be occurring on the earth is to have robust relationships,” Cunningham stated. “With the ability to speak concerning the stuff you battle with is vital to sustaining and nurturing these relationships. That is what most individuals battle with: “I do not know easy methods to speak about these items. I am the one one who feels this fashion. I do not need to be a burden to folks.”

There are lots of psychological well being apps accessible, however Cunningham and Gomez imagine WeTree is the primary to assist customers type supportive networks of household and buddies for coping. They are saying others join customers with professionals or assist them clear up their very own issues.

Each founders are rooted within the entrepreneurial group of San Antonio. Gomez is the co-founder of Tech Bloc and president of Geekdom, whereas Cunningham is the CEO of readitfor.me, which summarizes enterprise and self-help books for busy leaders. They function WeTree from their co-working area at Pearl.

The app was launched on Could 3, throughout Psychological Well being Consciousness Month.

Cunningham and Gomez lately sat down to debate their experiences with psychological well being, how they acquired the thought for the app and their plans for its future. The next has been edited for brevity and readability.

Lorenzo Gomez, left, and Steve Cunningham are tech entrepreneurs who recently launched WeTree, an app that aims to help users build relationships and leverage them to improve their mental health.

Lorenzo Gomez, left, and Steve Cunningham are tech entrepreneurs who lately launched WeTree, an app that goals to assist customers construct relationships and leverage them to enhance their psychological well being.

Billy Calzada / Employees Photographer

Q: How has the app carried out since its launch?

Gomez: It was nice. We now have lots of inquiries, lots of potential company purchasers, and lots of people getting concerned. We now have lots of people in our private lives come out and say, “Hey, I noticed the app and forwarded it to somebody.” I really feel like we’re beginning to unfold phrase of mouth.

Cunningham: As soon as we are saying, “Psychological well being app,” swiftly, everybody’s eyes get huge. They need to speak about it. It is clearly one thing everybody has in thoughts proper now. Everybody struggles with one thing. They really feel like, “Lastly, I’ve one thing that offers me an opportunity to get off my chest.”

Q: Why do you assume psychological well being is on everybody’s thoughts now?

Cunningham: The previous few years have been powerful. My background lies within the area of private improvement, the place folks need to enhance sure abilities. Two years in the past, earlier than the pandemic, I launched a easy software to get folks to principally break down what they need in several areas of their lives, as an train in private improvement. One of many questions was, What are your emotional objectives? I despatched it to a gaggle of individuals, and everybody I do know personally wrote of their reply one thing alongside the strains of “scale back my concern and anxiousness”. It was an actual lightning second for me. Oh man, everybody struggles, myself included, as a result of I used to be like, “Me too. I suppose I am not the one one who feels this fashion.” I did not know what to do with it. Quick ahead to the pandemic, I do know everybody round me is struggling. I realized from their social media posts that they do not speak about it. Possibly we may give you an opportunity to be trustworthy about this.

Lorenzo Gomez, right, and Steve Cunningham are tech entrepreneurs who recently launched WeTree, an app that aims to help users build and leverage relationships to improve their mental health.

Lorenzo Gomez, proper, and Steve Cunningham are tech entrepreneurs who lately launched WeTree, an app that goals to assist customers construct and leverage relationships to enhance their psychological well being.

Billy Calzada / Employees Photographer

Q: In order that was the origin of the thought.

Cunningham: A part of it was that we did lots of work on the earth of constructive psychology. Simply making an attempt to know, like, what does “increase” imply? What does ‘well-being’ imply after simply feeling blissful? Lorenzo wrote in his e book Cilantro’s Diaries about psychological well being. So I knew that at the least certainly one of my crew members was captivated with psychological well being. He was the one individual I knew who had the braveness to talk up for him.

Gomez: It is a psychological well being e book about my center faculty on the West Facet. One of many issues I’ve found is that, like Steve stated, everybody needs to speak about (psychological well being), however nobody needs to begin first. After I revealed the e book, everybody would say, “Oh my God, I learn your e book,” after which they’d proceed to inform me their model of my story. That was actually wonderful. I simply wrote it as a result of I needed to get it out. So when Steve referred to as me to speak about what he was engaged on, simply from that have, I believed, “Oh, that is a very great way for folks to get began first.” I believe that is one of many nice values ​​of the software, it makes it very easy for anybody to get began first.

Q: The place do you get your financing?

Cunningham: In the mean time, we get it from purchasers. This is step one.

Gomez: It’s principally self-financed. I work without cost now.

Q: Are you planning to search for buyers at a later time?

Gomez: we have no idea. We’re fully open to that. The humorous factor is that we had, oh my goodness, perhaps half a dozen purchasers both providing to speculate or introducing us to buyers. So there was lots of investor curiosity within the app.

Cunningham: At this level, we take it day in and time out. Whether or not it is purchasers, challenge financing or angel buyers, we do not know precisely what the necessity is correct now.

Lorenzo Gomez, one of the co-developers of the WeTree app, is showing it to a mobile device.  Its purpose is to help users build relationships and benefit from them to improve their mental health.

Lorenzo Gomez, one of many co-developers of the WeTree app, is exhibiting it to a cellular system. Its objective is to assist customers construct relationships and profit from them to enhance their psychological well being.

Billy Calzada / Employees Photographer

Q: So customers of the app are inspired to examine in on daily basis.

Cunningham: You’re inspired to do that every day. Most individuals do that a number of instances every week; Many individuals do that every day. It’s sufficient that you’re involved with the folks in your interior circle. Over time, it is sort of like peeling an onion. Folks really feel extra snug sharing the issues they battle with.

Gomez: We have heard this from a number of customers: – Conversations I might by no means have had. This complete concept that it facilitates issues that will by no means have appeared naturally. It offers you a cause to take action. I believe there are three hurdles to beat. The primary, we’re conditioned in well mannered society to simply inform a bit of white lie, which is, “Hey, how are you? I am positive.” There are lots of people; They are not good, however we’ve not realized to say what we actually really feel. The second is that it isn’t normalized. You already know, I did not hear the time period “psychological well being” till I used to be 30. It’s not a part of our slang. The third factor is that even with folks we care about, even folks we all know care about us, we inform ourselves this lie, which is, “I do not need to trouble them. And I do not need to be a burden to them.”

Q: If somebody factors out that they’re in bother, we encourage you to contact that individual from exterior the app?

Cunningham: For now, the thought is that you’re going to textual content or name them, it doesn’t matter what channel you are really on, and supply your assist. But additionally, observe up once they’re doing nicely. It is the entire scope of simply being there for somebody. Usually, when folks share excellent news, they do not get many slaps within the again. It is about constructing these relationships with the individuals who can be with you on each ends of that spectrum.

Q: Is that this one thing you possibly can change? Have them talk throughout the app?

Gomez: One of many issues we love proper now’s that it is quite simple. I really feel most social media platforms try to get you addicted, so that you by no means depart, and we’re okay with our customers leaving. We’re positive if this can be a software that facilitates the human expertise once more — you realize, let me take you out and again into human interplay. This is essential to us, as a result of everybody has seen all of the analysis come out on how endorphins hit you each time somebody likes it. That is actually not what we’re speaking about.

Q: Do you take into account this a social media app?

Cunningham: No, I believe we particularly do not need to name it social media for this very cause. Social media apps are designed to get you hooked on them in order that they’ll serve you extra advertisements. That is the entire objective. I believe we need to set ourselves aside – a social media app, nearly, although it has a social part to it. We wish to name it a psychological well being app.

Gomez: I wish to add just one factor. I believe we have created a brand new class, which is Psychological Well being Engagement. I take into account social media to be this totally different photo voltaic system within the advertising and marketing world. Within the area of psychological well being, you have got the functions of meditation on one facet — a sort of self-discipline, you realize, “I’ve to do it myself.” Then you have got apps that join you to a wizard. We’re completely this third class, and that’s to try this in a society the place there may be at the least one different individual.

Q: Do you have got plans so as to add extra jobs?

Gomez: The subsequent huge factor is cellular. The cellular will not be exterior. I believe certainly one of them can be within the subsequent two weeks. However particularly, notifications. The entire concept is that once I do my every day pulse, you may be notified, which is a passive means of claiming, “Hey, did you do what you needed?” We predict this would be the subsequent huge enhance to engagement.

Q: Aside from this survey, are you able to submit an extended put up?

Cunningham: No, I believe that is one of many causes persons are drawn to it – it is in all probability just like what Twitter was once. You possibly can simply accomplish that a lot in it, however the concept is, how will we get you out to go speak? As your spouse, son, dad and mom or greatest pal, they will not must share a weblog from you. They simply need to know the way are you in the present day? And if we need to speak, let’s speak.