Interviews with purpose-driven leaders who are dedicated to helping others and making a positive impact in the world.
August 24, 2021
Marjorie Morrison | Psych Hub
TELL US, WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
I’m Marjorie Morrison, and I’m CEO and co-founder of Psych Hub, which is the world’s most comprehensive online platform for mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention education.
HOW DID YOU GET HERE?
I’m a psychotherapist by trade. I spent the beginning of my career in private practice, then spent about a decade working with the military on proactive and preventative mental health. I then started a nonprofit called PsychArmor, online education for veterans, which allowed me to learn quite a bit about online education. From there I teamed up with former congressman Patrick Kennedy to co-found Psych Hub to really address some of these bigger issues around education in mental health.
WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR? WHY IS THIS WORK IMPORTANT TO YOU?
What we’re really focused on is addressing both the quality and access issues in behavioral health.
In terms of quality, most mental health providers are generalists. It’s how we’re trained. There are different interventions, but most people don’t use them because we don’t always know how to do so. However, when you use these interventions, you deliver better care and patients get much better outcomes in a lot less time. It’s also better for the provider, too, because there’s a lot of burnout, so we want to help them hone their craft and really build out their expertise as a specialist. That’s one issue that we were really passionate about, how do we empower behavioral health providers to use evidence-based practices and become specialists? Then how do we make better precision matching for those seeking care to be connected to a provider who’s trained and certified in the area where they need help whether it’s adolescence, insomnia, anxiety, a disorder, or substance use.
In terms of access, there just aren’t enough behavioral health providers to meet the demand. Not everybody really needs to see a licensed mental health provider, it really just depends on where you are at different stages in your journey of needing help. Another thing we do is actually train everyday people, a layperson, to learn how to support people in times of need. That’s our Mental Health Ally platform. We do a Mental Health Ally Certification as well. It’s focused on getting people the skills they need to offer support for other people as well as educating consumers around mental health literacy.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
We look at impact in many different ways. We have millions of views of our content, we’ve established relationships with 700 partners, and we work with all the national health insurance companies. We look at how we are able to take our behavioral health providers and help upskill them in delivering better care. We look at impact as quality of treatment. We also look at impact by our course completion rate. The typical average online education course completion rate is about 13% while ours is 65%. We look at impact on engagement, how often are people coming to our platform and using it not just to take courses but to watch videos or listen to podcasts. We’re very focused on meeting learners where they are and we offer many different types of learning opportunities for those different types of learners. We look at our impact as how often people are coming in and consuming the more than 1,000 assets of mental health content we’ve created. We also look at whether they’re sharing content and whether it’s a provider sharing with their patients or family and friends sharing with our Mental Health Ally platform. We look at the impact around mental health literacy, and how we are getting people information so that they can make informed decisions when it comes to their mental health. It’s a hard question to answer because we look at and track impact in many different ways and we continuously work on it.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO DO THIS WORK?
I think all the people who are brave enough to talk about their mental health needs, who are open about it, and who work to help break the stigma – they inspire me so much. When I got into this career, there were so many issues around stigma. People weren’t talking about things. Patrick, my co-founder, also inspires me. He’s open about being a Kennedy and what it was like for him in recovery. I’m inspired by his commitment to it and how he uses his voice to really help other people. All the people who work for Psych Hub as well, all the amazing staff that we have inspire me every day because they show up to make a difference in the world and make an impact. It’s pretty inspiring.
WHAT’S YOUR VISION, YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
It’s really around getting behavioral health providers into specialized care which is so needed. Also, we’re focused on making the whole experience of finding and connecting with a therapist or counselor easier. It’s just so difficult. Every day someone comes to me and says it’s so hard to find someone when you’re in need of it. I think it’s critical to be able to find that match and I want to be part of that solution by upscaling the providers and creating a registry where patients and providers have an easier time connecting with each other.
WHAT CHALLENGES ARE YOU FACING?
It’s a challenge getting behavioral health providers really engaged with this concept of specialization and using evidence-based practice to change their behavior. We are doing well with it but it’s a challenge to get people to do things differently.
WHAT’S ONE THING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR CAUSE AND/OR THE WORK YOU’RE DOING?
It’s really important that they get at least the basics of mental health literacy. If you don’t need it now, you’re going to need it at some point in time in your life, whether it’s for you or someone you care about. It may be for your kids, your parents, your siblings, or your friends. It’s just so important. When you’re in that moment of crisis, it’s really hard to know what to do. You just want to be prepared.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE QUOTE OR WORDS OF INSPIRATION TO SHARE?
My favorite quote is “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” I think about it almost every day and have for probably the last decade or so. Life is the thing that’s happening right now, it isn’t really what you’re planning for the future and what you’re pining for. I think it just helps keep me in the present and focus on the current moment.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Come to PsychHub.com, get educated, join our Mental Health Ally platform, and become Mental Health Ally certified which gives you all the skills and tools you need to be able to offer support for others. If that’s too big of a list, I’d say check out our YouTube channel. We put content out all the time and we work really hard to ensure we have the best quality content available for people when they need it.
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