Diall, a startup based out of Boston, has launched a mental health app that can connect you to specialized crisis support in less time than it takes to call 911. The company launched its beta on March 15 and is expected to hit the general market before April.
The startup hopes to eliminate the obstacle course of getting help by making resources, hotlines and community support as easy to use as calling a friend.
Unlike calling 911 — which requires direct interaction with police and can take up to over half an hour — Diall's application removes emergency dispatchers and replaces them with mental health professionals.
The home screen of the application operates like a speed dial, where each button on the keypad connects directly to a free 24/7 hotline across nine areas of support, including suicide prevention, eating disorders, and BIPOC focused aid.
In addition to the keypad, users will have access to a community feature resembling social media, but without the toxicity, as well as a resources feature, where users can educate themselves on mental health and wellness with curated articles and videos. The startup offers its partners the ability to pay for a designated profile where they can post resources, curate information, interact with users and help provide diverse and inclusive spaces for people to seek help.
Aside from the keypad, the application is entirely anonymous. Jonah Salita, the company's CCO, said “we want to make sure users can confidently take the first step towards getting the support they deserve, and without any stigma.”
The company's CEO, Marcel Johnson, said the goal of the company is to make mental health care more accessible for everyone. While mental illness affects people of all backgrounds, LQBTQ+, BIPOC and many other underrepresented communities receive disproportionately less care. “It’s not a question about whether these resources exist, but rather how inaccessible they are. That’s a very real challenge that we’re trying to solve with Diall.”
The app is entirely free for users. "Mental health resources shouldn't have to come at a huge personal cost," Salita told The Org. “Greater financial inclusion means greater progress towards a safer world and removing the burden of cost from the user while finding a humane way to monetize without participating in the attention economy has been a key focus of ours.”
Ultimately, the startup hopes to help get millions of Americans access to the support they deserve.