Following their graduation from ilab’s Germinate 6 accelerator program, Aaron and Khayt Williams, the co-founders of Mindstar, partnered with some Queensland investors passionate about contributing to the global mental health challenge. They were able to use that investment to build out their first major release of Mindstar’s online mental health platform which has now culminated in the launch of the Mindstar mental health platform service this week!
As an indication of their impact, rugby league legend, Darren Lockyer, has now joined Mindstar as an official ambassador and will assist in their support for the welfare and mental health challenges of sports people. Darren will be the guest speaker at Mindstar’s official launch party on the Sunshine Coast on 8 June. (See event invitation details here)
Mindstar makes it easy to choose and connect with the professional that best suits the person. With over 100 sessions available per week, it finally gives you the freedom to search, choose and video-chat with your choice of the best psychologists, counsellors and coaches from across the country – on your phone, tablet or PC, over our secure, custom-built, encrypted platform – all from your workplace or the comfort of your couch at home.
Mindstar has been going from strength to strength as it also recently announced it was the recipient of a sought after federal government Accelerating Commercialisation grant for innovation. With the new product launch and the federal innovation funding, Mindstar is set to lead the way using emerging technologies to crush the stigma associated with seeking support and encourage people to do so to improve and then maintain their well being.
In recent months, the federal government has announced the boldest, most transformative reform package on mental health in a generation. A key element of the package is the focus on providing individualised and seamless support, to enable the right care at the right time from the right mix of providers to enable people to live fulfilling lives and integrating available and emerging digital technologies. Mindstar is indeed a timely service.
With the launch, Mindstar have been getting some great press: Sunshine Coast Daily
MEDIA RELEASE 24 May 2016
Australian first online mental health counselling now a reality Sunshine Coast technology start-up, Mindstar, launches an innovative new online mental health solution today. The secure video technology pioneered by Mindstar means that people can now seek quality face to face web-based wellbeing and mental health support with the professional of their choice from the comfort and privacy of their own home or workplace.
Mindstar founders, Aaron and Khayt Williams identified a huge gap and need for more accessible help in this area. With mental health issues at critical levels in the community, the Mindstar team began to passionately explore how more people could be helped.
Figures just released today by Professor John Mendoza show a 20% rise in suicide rates and is calling it a national emergency. Rural and remote regions are suffering the most and Professor Mendoza is challenging all Federal election candidates to take a stand on suicide after the recent analysis showing the problem is worse than first thought.
The potential of this online counselling service to change the landscape of mental health services is immense. Busy, time poor, rural and remote people will have a better chance to access the professional of their choice, where and when they need it with the introduction of Mindstar.
The creators of Mindstar hope to truly change the way that people think about and access wellbeing and mental health services. The founders envisage that scheduling, travel and a reluctance to front up to a counsellor’s office are barriers that will be overcome by this new online service.
The Williams’ embarked on the quest to enable better access to these much needed services two years ago, with an innovation grant from the Federal Government and support from leaders in the mental health community such as Professor John Mendoza.
Over 100 sessions are already available per week and Mindstar will have 100 professionals online within six months. Mindstar provides the ability to search, choose and video-chat with a choice of highly experienced psychologists, counsellors and coaches from across the country. Access is possible from a phone, tablet or PC, over a secure, custom-built, encrypted platform.
For the CEO of Mindstar, Aaron Williams, it’s personal: “After the sudden death of a close friend a number of years ago, I stopped coping and suffered a really dark period of depression and suicidal thinking and struggled to find professional help. I came to realise how common this is, with 1 in 5 people in Australia now experiencing some kind of mental health issues, and the figure is rising. That’s when I knew something had to be done.
It’s all about being able to search for and connect with the best professional to suit you. Mindstar’s technology and diverse range of professionals now allows us to do this faster and easier than ever before. The important thing is the earlier that you speak to someone the better. The best prevention for mental illness and suicide is early intervention. Connect with a professional early. Don’t wait until things get really tough.”
About Mindstar www.mindstar.com.au is Australia’s first online mental wellbeing counselling service. From the start-up hub of the Sunshine Coast, it was founded by husband and wife team Aaron and Khayt Williams after they saw the need for more easily accessible, quality mental wellbeing help for people across the country.
The Federal Government has backed the site to the tune of $320,000 with advice and mentoring from Professor John Mendoza, former Chair of the National Advisory Council on Mental Health.
There are currently 35 Mindstar Professionals on board with availability to help people and more are joining.
Mindstar is the first true, interactive e-health service in Australia. ______________________________________________________________
For further information: Aaron Williams, Mindstar CEO