Many families feel lost when a loved one is suffering with mental illness. They feel stuck and don't know where to turn. Akin provides guidance for those families so that they can move forward.
Akin offers an online program for family members of loved ones with mental illness. We offer two levels of support through our program. First, we offer the Live Guidance tier which includes weekly live workshops over Zoom and an initial consultation call with an Akin Guide. Second, we offer a Self-guided tier which includes access to our video lessons and online community of other families.
The program’s core curriculum includes 12 lessons to give families evidence-based grounding in understanding mental illness, communication skills, problem solving, understanding treatment and preparing for crisis. Once members complete the core curriculum, we offer a Resilience group for ongoing support and group coaching.
Akin is inspired by family psychosocial support. These are programs with decades of evidence showing that they can dramatically reduce hospital visits of patients and can also significantly improve stress of family supporters, yet the availability and accessibility of these services is still rare. Instead families are often blocked out of the system entirely and deprioritized. At Akin, we’ve created a platform where families can access the core elements of family psychosocial support: education, community, and guidance wherever they are and whenever they’re ready to start.
Stephanie Greer and Matthew Montañez are two founders drawn together by a common experience: we both have family members who struggle with symptoms of severe mental illness. Specifically, Stephanie is the daughter to a mom with bipolar 1 disorder and psychotic symptoms. Matt, is the brother to a sibling with schizoaffective disorder. We know that navigating disorders like these can feel like riding a roller coaster in the dark.
Like the stories of so many other families, we’ve seen multiple hospitalizations and a mix of helpful and harmful treatments on a many year journey towards stability for our families and loved ones.
Thankfully, both our family members have found stability with these disorders with long term medication, therapy, and a supportive lifestyle with loving family. Motivated by these experiences, we are taking our lived-experience and technical careers and turning our attention towards making positive change for other families.
Professionally, we are technology leaders with over 20 years combined experience building technology and leading teams. Stephanie holds a PhD in neuroscience from UC Berkeley, and has led development of evidence based digital health products at Apple health special projects and Hopelab, and has consulted for many digital health startups. Matt has spent his career building software and leading technical teams. He has developed and implemented the technical strategy for multiple top App Store Health and Fitness apps.
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