Zencare Connects People to Mental Health Services

The website is a resource with profiles of local mental health professionals.

This story was originally published in the October 2016 issue of Rhode Island Monthly.

In the fall of 2014, Yuri Tomikawa, a 2012 graduate of Brown University, sought professional guidance. Her search for a therapist or life coach, which began online, only exacerbated her frustration.

“There are tons of lists out there, but no quality vetting,” Tomikawa says.

Tomikawa, who moonlights as a web designer, thought there had to be a better way — especially for millennials, who are more apt to ask Google for a referral than a friend. In February of 2015, alongside a team of student advisers from Brown University, Tomikawa launched Zencare, a clean, distraction-free — read: zen — website featuring detailed profiles of local mental health care professionals.

The site, which launched in beta to meet the needs of Brown’s student body, now serves the local adult population. More than fifty profiles boast photographs of local providers, free five-minute consultation booking services and short videos of providers discussing their practices.

A majority of Zencare’s mental health care professionals are referred to the startup by someone in the Providence community. Others are vetted by Providence-based psychiatrist Stephanie Hartselle, Zencare’s medical adviser.

“We talk constantly about access to care and how we can get people in need to the places they need to be,” Hartselle says. “This is a great way to facilitate that.” zencare.co

 

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