Anne Pasdeloup and Eva Faas are both Clinical Psychology graduates from the University of Amsterdam. After graduation Anne started working in a Psychiatric Day Clinic, but after two years left for San Francisco to work in Silicon Valley, while Eva started working as a coach and mentor for problem children. Joined together again by their passion to empower and support people with mental issues in creating their own happiness, they have worked hard over the last three years to make this possible, with this amazing app as a result.
iloveme was founded by Anne Pasdeloup in 2011. With her background in psychology, she became passionate about offering a service that would be able to reach people with psychological symptoms in an early stage. Anne is convinced that the earlier you can reach people, the easier it is to treat or prevent symptoms from getting worse. Anne’s passion is to make people aware that they can influence their own mental health; you just need to know how.
Eva Faas joined iloveme since 2012. She started out as a text writer for the app, but this developed as a partnership. Due to her background as a psychologist as well as coach and mentor, she experienced first hand that the most simple form of support can have a tremendous impact on someone’s life. Sometimes it is just that little push someone needs, to gain back control over his or her live. Eva believes iloveme can be this little push for all of us.
Mental health suffers from a major image problem. One in every four people experiences mental health issues — yet more than 40 percent of countries worldwide have no mental health policy. Across the board it seems like we have no idea how to talk about it respectfully and responsibly, says Thu-Huong Ha, in How should we talk about Mental Health. Stigma and discrimination seem to be the two biggest obstacles to a productive public dialogue about mental health.
How do we end the stigma? Easier said than done, of course. Says journalist Andrew Solomon: “People still think that it’s shameful if they have a mental illness. They think it shows personal weakness. They think it shows a failing. This self-inflicted stigma can make it difficult for people to speak about even their own mental health problems. According to neuroscientist Sarah Caddick, this is because when someone points to his wrist to tell you it’s broken, you can easily understand the problem, but that’s not the case when the issue is with the three-pound mass hidden inside someone’s skull. http://ideas.ted.com/how-should-we-talk-about-mental-health/
Around 40% of the Dutch population has had a psychological illness at some point in their lives, and 25% has experienced psychological symptoms in the last year. The most frequently occurring illnesses are mood disorders, anxiety disorders and adjustment disorders. When looking at the burden of disease psychological disorders are one of the most threatening for the public health, and the effect on the quality of life are as high as cancer, heart diseases and diabetes. Psychological issues cost the society yearly 20-billiard euro. These costs include healthcare, absenteeism, loss of productivity and disability.
To compound this public health problem, many individuals with psychiatric disorders remain untreated although effective treatments exist. Figures show that only 10% of the people with psychological symptoms receive treatment. There are many reasons for this treatment gap in Mental Health care. Among these reasons are shame and self helplessness (a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation). Psychological symptoms get worse over time, and when untreated, symptoms can develop into a disorder, causing the treatment to take longer and raise the costs of treatment.
iloveme’s goal is to offer an easy accessible and attractive way, to support people with mild psychological symptoms. iloveme wants to create awareness that it is possible to influence you own (mental) health and to empower people to actively work towards their own happiness. The mobile application offers people that are ashamed of their symptoms or are just not sure yet if they should ask for help, an easy and anonymous way to actively work on their symptoms.
iloveme gives insight in the relevant issues and shows the factors that have a negative or positive influence on their mental health. The methods used in iloveme have all been proven to be effective in the treatment of mild psychological symptoms, namely psycho-education, registration of emotions and behavior, and support groups.