Future Makers: Virtual Psychologist breaks down barriers to seeking help

Dervla Loughnane saw a need to establish new communication channels for mental health support. This was driven by the distress she and her team had witnessed during face-to-face and phone conversations about mental health issues. In some cases, it had led to suicide.Optus recognised the value of her Virtual Psychologist concept, accepting her solution into its Future Makers program.Optus Future Makers is a capacity building and Accelerator program aimed at entrepreneurs, social enterprises and not-for-profit (NFP) organisations. It has a strong focus on solutions that use technology to address societal problems for vulnerable and disadvantaged Australian people.Launched in 2016, Future Makers selects applicants each year to take part in the capacity building program and pitch form a pool of up to $300,000. They also receive four months of individual business coaching from the brightest talent at Optus and the wider tech industry.

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