An online educational and self-assessment resource based in St. Johns, Mich., aims to break barriers and reach out to individuals who may be reluctant to seek professional mental health services.
Launched in May 2015 by Brad Messenger, Elttila, Inc.
offers an easy, accessible, on-line alternative to traditional mental health care. Patients can log on to the Eltilla website for interactive, confidential therapy and education related to depression, anxiety and stress. Services are available around the clock, and can be accessed through laptops, smart phones and other mobile devices, with options for text-only or video-chat functions.
"I believe there are so many people who go untreated with mental health issues," says Messenger, CEO and owner of CCMC Psychological Services in St. Johns. "Our goal is to offer an online service where people can connect with professional resources from the privacy of their homes."
The name Elttila is 'a little' spelled backwards and comes from Messenger's overarching idea that people can sometimes get a little "flipped around or backwards."
"We recognize that everyone experiences anxiety, depression or other emotional issues at one time or another," he says. "We thought the name Elttila helps fight the stigma that surrounds mental health, and that seeking mental health care is no different than seeking physical care. You wouldn't tough out a broken bone, would you?"
The Eltilla system combines the latest technology with clinically proven therapy techniques and specialized strategies. Site visitors can access what Messenger says is the world's first comprehensive symptom checker that applies the same tools many psychotherapists use. Educational tools, resources, and referrals are provided free and help clients understand their emotional state. Those seeking further care can ask for text or video consultation and services, and take the next step by setting up a confidential account.
"Our free educational tools and texting abilities for consultation set us apart from other similar models out there," Messegner says. "We find that lots of people come to us to check their mood, to work through resources, and to seek the professional guidance they may need without ever paying a dime. We're proud of that."
Messenger and co-founder Mei Fullerton led a team of 10 people in Eltilla's launch and development including therapists, web developers, and business partners. Messenger directly oversees the fully-licensed, certified therapists who provide services through the site.
About 100 registered users worldwide currently receive services through Elttila, while hundreds of people visit the site daily for educational tools and resources.
Source: Brad Messenger, Co-founder, Elttila
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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