In a world where the pace of life can often feel overwhelming, the quest for mental well-being has become more important than ever. Enter Being, a Delaware-based health-tech startup on a mission to redefine how we approach mental health. This groundbreaking app, showcased as part of the Battlefield 200 at TechCrunch Disrupt, seeks to create a map of your concerns, guiding you through the labyrinth of everyday challenges.
The Visionaries Behind Being
Founded in 2020 by CEO Varun Gandhi and CTO Abhishek Sharma, Being is more than just an app; it’s a heartfelt response to a pressing need. Gandhi’s personal journey, marked by anxiety and a lack of mental health awareness during his formative years, serves as the inspiration behind this transformative platform.
Navigating Your Mental Landscape
Getting started with Being is as simple as expressing your current feelings or concerns. Imagine you begin with, “I’m not feeling too great about myself today.” You can then layer on additional dimensions like, “My physical health doesn’t feel great.” If your concern hasn’t been mapped by another user, you have the power to create a new entry.
Once your concerns are on the canvas, a map begins to take shape, offering a holistic view of the aspects you wish to address. The magic lies in the connections the map reveals, helping you unravel the complex web of emotions and experiences that may be influencing your mental state.
“The map is a living entity, evolving as users share more of their experiences,” Gandhi explained in an interview with TechCrunch. “As people journey from one concern to another, the map grows, forging dynamic connections that illuminate the intricacies of our mental landscapes.”
Three Paths to Mental Wellness
Being offers three distinct avenues to guide you on your mental wellness journey:
- Interactive Therapy: Immerse yourself in mini therapy sessions crafted by licensed mental health professionals, focusing on techniques like Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).
- AI-Powered Journaling: Engage in a reflective journey with AI-guided prompts that encourage you to explore your thoughts and emotions. The AI serves as a supportive companion, offering additional questions to delve deeper into your reflections. Being emphasizes that its AI features are deliberately kept basic to respect the value of science-backed therapy provided by mental health professionals.
- Quick Bites of Wisdom: For those with limited time, “quick bites” of science-based psychoeducation offer a swift understanding of the factors influencing your feelings.
A Fresh Approach to Mental Health
Gandhi underscores the importance of starting mental health discussions from the ground up, rooted in what individuals are currently experiencing, rather than prematurely labeling them with conditions like depression or anxiety.
“We don’t wait for people to seek help; we meet them where they are,” Gandhi asserts. “Mental health is about acknowledging what each person is going through at any given moment because, in reality, most of us are grappling with our own unique challenges.”
Accessible and Adaptable
Being caters to everyone, offering a flexible approach to mental wellness. While the app’s open-ended model may take some adjustment for those accustomed to traditional mental healthcare, it’s a refreshing departure from one-size-fits-all solutions.
Available on both iOS and Android, Being presents two subscription tiers. The first, priced at $9.99 per month, offers a DIY experience, while the second, at $19.99, includes additional support and one-on-one chats with mental health professionals.
A Promising Journey Ahead
Being is poised to make a significant impact on the landscape of mental wellness. Currently in the process of closing a $3 million seed round, the company has already garnered substantial support through two pre-seed rounds in 2021 and 2022, totaling $1.4 million, led by Multiply Ventures and Better Capital. As Being continues to evolve, it beckons us to embrace a new era of mental health—one that acknowledges the unique tapestry of emotions we all weave and offers a compassionate guide to navigate it.