May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In the United States, mental health challenges affect a large proportion of the population. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 20 percent of American adults struggle with mental health issues and 1 in 12 children have diagnosed anxiety or depression.
We launched VentSpace in the spring of 2020 as COVID-19 was starting to spread across the United States. Over the past year, the pandemic has taken a big toll on the mental health of many. Social distancing regulations, economic impacts, health concerns and the loss of loved ones have increased feelings of anxiety, fear, depression and loneliness—regardless of age, gender or socioeconomic status.
Although COVID numbers are now dropping and more than a third of Americans have been vaccinated, the psychological impact of this global health crisis will be evident for years to come.
At VentSpace, we believe it is important to shine a light on the topic of mental health and discuss the struggles we are all facing during this time. There are many reasons people may be hesitant to discuss mental health. Perhaps it feels embarrassing or shameful. Perhaps it is too difficult to directly address painful past experiences. Or perhaps we just don’t know how to discuss this topic because we don’t have the practice.
Our platform gives individuals a safe, anonymous place to discuss their thoughts and feelings—particularly those that might feel too uncomfortable to talk to a friend or family member about. VentSpace isn’t a substitute for therapy and there is no professional advice given on the app. However, it is a place where people can express themselves freely and be authentic to their experiences and inner world. In many cases, this can be the first step to relieving stress, relaxing the nervous system, finding helpful solutions or seeking professional health. Most importantly, VentSpace is free for users, which means there is no barrier to entry for those who just need to talk and release some of the weight off their chests.
The purpose of Mental Health Awareness Month is to draw attention to important emotional, mental and social issues, to increase public dialog, and to inspire healthy action. One year after the launch of VentSpace and the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we hope we have been able to do just that. If there are any topics you would like to see discussed on our blog, or any way we can improve our app, please drop us a line and let us know!
VentSpace is an anonymous online community where people can share their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement. It is a free platform where users can discuss topics related to everyday experiences and challenges — or simply just vent.