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How start-up Lysn is removing the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment

Tech start-up, Lysn, is an online platform that offers clients online consultations with psychologists. Lysn founder, Dr. Jonathan King, says it removes the stigma surrounding accessing mental health services.

Mental illness is the largest single cause of disability in Australia, costing the economy around $60 billion annually.

However, many affected do not seek assistance.

Lysn CEO and Founder, Dr Jonathan King, identified stigma as one of the reasons holding people back from asking for help and set out to offer a solution through technology.

“Lysn allows people to obtain stigma-free help, people can go online, no one needs to know,” he says.

“Our aim is to find the best fit psychologists for you."

The website works by matching client needs with the relevant expertise of psychologists that have signed onto the Lysn platform. 

Jonathan came to Australia 14 years ago from Canada and worked as a medical practitioner in public hospitals across the country.  

“I worked around New South Wales regional areas, as well as Shoalhaven, Canberra, and the ACT,” he explains.

“While I was working in far north Queensland, I realised the deficiencies of holistic care and mental health support.”

Jonathan initially began his start-up journey with the vision of opening his own online hospital but realised the sheer size of such an undertaking.

“I really had to make a decision and focus on one specialty rather than five,” he says.

“I wanted to do something really well and mental health was the biggest issue,” he says.

So Jonathan shifted his focus to making mental health support access easier, especially for people living in remote and rural areas.  

But convincing psychologists to enlist their services with the online platform proved difficult when the start-up was first created.

 “I think when I first approached psychologists about Lysn, they were a bit cautious, and I don't blame them, you know, we were a new start-up.”

“The first 20 of them, I probably spent a good 15 hours trying to make them believe in what we're trying to do.”

“To date, we are actually blessed to have 218 and growing.

"We're roughly doing about 80 to 90 sessions a week.”

As well as running the online service, the business also provides face-to-face training workshops for corporate and non-corporate organisations. 

The workshops aim to help raise awareness about mental health issues.