Freshman aims to combat mental health stigma with app
Entrepreneur Satvik Sethi came up with the concept after interactions on Instagram
One freshman is taking a new approach to combating mental illness and spreading positivity — and using social media to get the job done. Satvik Sethi has his sights set on making the world a happier place for everyone.
With prior entrepreneurial experience — including five internships at different corporations and working as chief operating officer for a startup company — and his desire to help, Sethi, a freshman majoring in business administration, is looking to develop an app called Runaway that aims to make the world a happier place. He chose the name Runaway for the app because he wants to make it a safe place that people can run away to.
The idea for Runaway came from an experience Sethi had on Instagram. “Three years ago, I was on Instagram late at night searching for pictures of art and poetry, and that’s when I came across an image of someone self-harming,” Sethi said. “I was really taken aback by this photo so my first response was to reach out to this person by leaving a comment on the photo. I wanted to let them know that I was there for them if they need someone to talk to.”
This was the first of many people he’s reached out to on social media, letting them know that he’s there to talk and listen to them. “I realized that a small gesture can have a large impact on an individual,” he said. Since then, he’s made it his goal to spread positivity and to break down the stigma around mental illnesses. He’s had about 150 such cases in which he interacted with people struggling with mental illness through social media. Sethi, an international student from India, continues to find these people by looking through hashtags. These people are from all around the world in places like Australia, India, Sweden, South America and the United States.
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