Recent violent events in the U. S. have shaken us awake to the horrid reality of widespread injustice. People of color, especially women, struggle for equal access to resources and opportunities. Even basic amenities like healthcare, education, and employment are hard to come by.
While working alongside and watching these communities struggle, Areva Martin, a Civil Rights attorney launched Butterfly Health – a mental health app that offers psychological resources for Black communities. The app works as a safe space for people struggling with managing their mental health.
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Butterfly Health asks users to check-in daily with a simple tap of an in-app button, and then creates a longitudinal assessment of the user’s mental health and happiness. It creates a soft-entry point for people to better understand their mental health. Also, if their journey reveals deeper issues; the app allows them to easily connect with specialists that create practices which help them recognize and face their challenges.
Martin started a non-profit over 10 years ago, called Special Needs Network, which focused on health equities and addressing disparities for children with autism. Today, the Butterfly App is an expansion of that work. “It gives me an opportunity to serve our community,” she told She’s Single Magazine in an exclusive interview.
While working with underserved populations, she noticed severe mental health issues that impact Black communities and wanted to tackle it in a way that was scalable and would break down stigma around seeking professional help. “I wanted to address the big issue of access,” she added. “[My work in civil rights] has always been about leveling the playing field, eliminating disparities and addressing inequities in our system.”
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Aimed at closing the distance between people in need and the resources available, Butterfly Health offers individualized care in various forms:
How Butterfly Health can help you?
If you find yourself in a state of mental health distress and are looking for resources to help you and/or your loved ones, here are a few ways the Butterfly Health app can help you:
· 24 x 7 help in the comfort of your home
Butterfly Health gives you 24 x 7 access to a HIPPA-compliant intervention in the privacy of your home at your own convenience, so you can get the kind of interventions that you would typically get inside a therapist’s office, without actually having to visit a therapist.
· Clinically-validated cognitive behavior assessment and therapy
If you are not sure about your diagnosis based on your symptoms; Butterfly Health offers clinically-validated assessments to help you identify and understand your mental health experiences better.
· Social Connections
People expressing depressive symptoms have a tendency to withdraw and isolate. Navigating mental disorders can be a tricky and lonesome experience but you don’t have to do this alone. Butterfly gives you a platform to connect with other people going through similar conditions.
· Instant referral to professional therapeutic services
People of color from marginalized communities have to spend a long time, sometimes months, to get a referral. Butterfly Health helps you circumvent that process and gets you timely access.
· Easy access to the help you need
There is definitely an issue of access even if you have insurance. “I deal with single moms who have Medicaid but there are not enough providers to work with these families,” Martin said.
These are some of the most important questions that get in the way of receiving proper healthcare, Martin mentioned such as: “Can you get a referral? How long does it take for you to get the referral? What kinds of services are provided? Are there enough culturally/racially competent therapists in your provider network?”
Butterfly aims to bridge this gap and hopes to become a household extension for over 90 million people who receive Medicaid.
“[I want it to be] a part of their daily wellness program, like running, exercise, and eating healthy food,” Martin stated, discussing her vision for the app. “It’s not just about your mental health, it’s a platform for holistic wellbeing.”
If you are going through a hard time, I see and support you. Asking for help is hard, and getting access even harder. This is why resources like Butterfly exist – to help you gain access to resources quickly and affordably. You are not alone. We’re in this together. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, remember, help is just a click away.