'Tech crucial to developing children's mental health'
Technology is crucial to instilling a new generation with better mental health which will benefit them for life.
That is the view of Zoë Ross, founder of EdTech platform Mind Moose.
The platform, which is available to both schools and parents, teaches children emotional maturity and coping mechanisms when negative emotions emerge.
The entrepreneur and former teacher’s journey to tech founder began after losing her former partner to suicide six years ago.
“He was a fellow teacher, a family man and a lovely person,” said Ross.
“Suicide had previously been something that happened to other people, until it was something that directly impacted on me and someone I cared about.”
After beginning to recover from the shock, Ross to go back to study, choosing a masters in psychology.
She discovered tools and techniques, rooted in science and evidence, which could help people to improve their own mental health, but saw the techniques lacking in school.
It was then that the idea for Mind Moose began, and technology was at the heart of its implementation.
“Technology can engage [children] in a way that other methods can't. It's also friendlier for them, and less intimidating than someone sat opposite asking questions,” she said.
Mind Moose is designed to reach children in primary school
The company, now based in London and Cheshire, began with Ross, who took a ‘lean start-up approach’ by developing her own programme and taking it to children and schools.
At the time, working for a Department for Education funded digital project, she also realised that Mind Moose must be sustainable and viable if it was to reach her goal of helping children worldwide.
“Tech enables us to do this in a way that we absolutely couldn't otherwise with traditional approaches in this space,” she said.
“Mind Moose acts to encourage conversation between supportive adults and helps to support the relationship. health it's largely supportive, positive human relationships which ultimately make the difference.
“The tech is another way of cracking that open and facilitating that.”
The growing business, which has eight employees and three board members, has been funded by NESTA and the Welcome Trust.
It now has ambitions to ensure that children across the world have access to better mental health via Mind Moose with international expansion and new technologies which are still under wraps.
“We have certain countries which we've earmarked to begin trying to make an impact in, and several new technologies in the pipeline.
“We have some really exciting things that we're working on that will allow us to move into a slightly different space and access a different market. We are the first movers in that space so it's really exciting.”
Ross was one of the speakers at BusinessCloud’s Best of North West Tech event and said the area was exciting, particularly in her own health and EdTech sector.
“A lot of the companies are just getting on and doing it, and not really speaking about it,” she said.
“Being able to share what we are doing is great and should be celebrated.”