Joining the dots for better mental health
Finding a therapist is daunting. How do you know they’ll be right person for you, especially for such sensitive task? For practitioners, it’s a challenge to find clients that suit your specific interests or speciality, on top of managing endless bookings, payments and cancelations.
Relationships Australia is a leading provider of mental health support services for individuals, couples, families and communities. In 2016, they were looking for an opportunity to expand how they connect clients and practitioners: what if they could help counselling services reach more people and also support the wider ecosystem of practitioners beyond Relationships Australia’s own roster of mental health professionals?
The answer was to start a social enterprise that could trial new models for delivering their service at a larger scale. Radiant is the first of these models, a mental health connection platform that reduces friction and aims to help people have more control over selecting what they deem to be the right therapist for them.
We began a design partnership at the initial concept phase and are in the process of launching the product to market in 2017.
Analysing the landscape, we saw a couple of trends:
- The way clients find therapists is shifting: from relying on doctors’ referrals to actively carrying out their own research online.
- Therapists are actively promoting their businesses online, but as they are not marketing experts. They are spending a lot of time but not achieving cost-effective and targeted results. To further understand these opportunities with people who know the landscape the best, we held a series of workshops and interviews with Relationships Australia staff, mental health practitioners, doctors and clients to understand how people’s journeys through treatment happen. We also spent time in workplaces, observing how practitioners worked.
Making the match
One of the most important things we learned from this research was that the best chance of therapeutic success comes from a good relationship between client and practitioner.
We designed an online platform that empowers clients to choose therapists based on the attributes they feel will contribute to a good relationship. By providing open and friendly information on practitioners’ hobbies, interests, life experience and values as well as qualifications we provide a greater level of control over selecting a therapist. This sets up a better opportunity for a good relationship.
Radiant is a living, breathing service that brings the shared value to both sides of the therapy equation. Radiant brings promise of a whole new business model for Relationships Australia, a model that not only helps them deliver their service at a greater scale, but which repositions the organisation as digital innovator.
Radiant is now welcoming mental health practitioners to register, and will be opening to clients very soon!