What can we say? Where do we start?
One thing we do know for sure: 2017 has been one heck of a year for Moment Health.
From early on, we were off to a running start, and I was determined to get all our ducks in a row in preparation for early-stage investment. We were really going for it!
With no previous experience around raising investment, I hadn’t the faintest idea of how to go about it all. Though, as good fortune would have it, there are great people surrounding me and supporting our mission to #MakeItMainstream. They helped me first and foremost to understand the process and all that needed to be done and, secondly, helped me gather all I needed to be prepared and to give it our best shot.
Within a few short months, we secured investment with Techstart NI. We were off, and with the funds hitting the bank in April we got cracking. The first priority in our full-time schedule was to build the team that would create the product we would be proud to bring to market; something we could share with the world and know with confidence it would be helpful to others out there.
Our energy levels were high and we were buoyant on positivity, even when, from time to time folks told us it would take longer than anticipated and warned there would be many road blocks and perhaps even failure (according to start-up statistics).
But we knew we were onto something good. We kept our heads down, and we kept moving forward. With an eclectic mix of talent and experience from the outset – design, branding, ux, development, and sales & marketing – we knew what we had to do and we set about doing it.
We created something new and unique – a signs and symptoms checker for new and expectant parents who may be suffering from pre and postnatal depression. We listened to our users and community and crafted bespoke content for them based on what they told us they wanted. I’m very proud of that work and the team who created it.
Now, here we are, at the cusp of 2018. It’s been one month since we launched the app in the UK & Ireland and, several thousand users on, we have kicked off our official seed fundraise – an experience that is exhilarating, fascinating, exhausting.
I’m determined to maintain drive and momentum as much as ever. Despite the mountains ahead of us and the forewarnings from fellow entrepreneurs that success among us is a survival of the fittest, our purpose and mission to support the world’s parents, vulnerable to PND or not, stays strong in the front of my mind and it’s all I need to secure more than enough energy I need to keep going.
I look at the highs of the year, and realise there have been so many and that I have so much to be grateful for. This year, I interviewed Sheryl Sandberg. The great Sarah Friar came on board as my business advisor, and Noel Brady as chair. I achieved the triple-crown at the Belfast Homecoming in October, winning the dragon’s den pitch (my first and last 60-second pitch – nerve-wrecking!), making it into the Belfast Top 50, and securing the Young Business Ambassador Award – as well as making the Top 40 under 40 List - wow.
Yes, as we round up 2017 I am very proud of how we have done, and what we as a team have achieved. Most of all, I look forward to working with people who are as committed to the maternal mental health agenda as much as we are, who’ll join us in building a global technology company to support those in need.
2018 kicks off with a trip to New York as part of my Belfast Homecoming Prize where I’m so excited to be meeting with Every Mother Counts and other potential strategic partners to find ways we can work together. I'll be participating in a fireside chat with the Moms@Gartner exploring all things maternal mental health, wellbeing and working parents and on top of all that I’ll be meeting with some potential investors. Let’s see if we can secure our seed raise quicker than is expected, with the right people to help us build something really special and successful in this world, and not only put Belfast on the map but place Maternal Mental Health on everyone’s agenda.
Of course, none of this would be possible without our incredible community – the ones who are sharing this journey with us; all the incredible parents out there – those non cape-wearing heroes among us. I’m grateful for your kind words and testimonials, they lift us up and let us know we’re on the right track, so thank you! Here are just a few of our favourites so far:
“I love Moment Health’s ethos. You begin not having to assume there is an issue. It’s for everyone. It encourages us all to briefly take time out to focus on ourselves. Self-care is so very essential, and I think it’s fabulous to have a tool to help us do this, in a very practical sense. It’s an age old saying, but oh so true…you can’t pour from an empty cup. The best thing we can do for us and our kids is to be as content in ourselves as we can. It’s easy to forget this and prioritise them to the detriment of our own health.
I’ve been on the road to recovery now for several months. I still have bad days, but they are usually very short lived. I have the Moment Health app installed on my phone, as my own personal checker system. I now prioritise my mental health and ensure I dedicate a little time every day to check in with myself. I’d encourage everyone to do the same, no matter what stage of motherhood they’re at. I couldn’t be any more behind Moment Health’s strap line, to #
“I have been using the app regularly for the last few weeks and I’ve been exploring all its possibilities. My favourite feature is the Mood Tracker. It allows you to record how you’re feeling several times a day and you can view all your data at a glance to follow your emotions. I have managed to work out the times of the day when I feel most stressed and overwhelmed and now I can anticipate it and work to overcome the tension.
There is also a closed Facebook group which I enjoy enormously. It’s full of non-judgemental help and advice from other parents and it’s certainly the friendliest parenting forum I use.
Nuala has created an invaluable tool, which has offered me copious amounts of support since the birth of my daughter. This app will no doubt be a lifeline to many women and will also help Nuala’s mission to #makeitmainstream.” Angie, blogger at ohhere.wordpress.com
“I've been tracking my own moods and feelings on the app throughout this last trimester and it has honestly helped me step back and analyse my emotions instead of letting them get out of control in my head. I've been very lucky and haven't suffered with prenatal depression this pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, I've certainly had my low days but overall I've definitely been a very happy chubby-bunny, and it's been lovely to see all my positive progress on the app.
The app is completely free and I highly recommend it to any parent or any pregnant woman out there. Even if you think you're coping utterly fine just like I have been. It's such a positive thing to do for your mental wellbeing whilst you go through this insanely huge change as you progress from woman to mother. This is the companion you need to help keep your mental health in check from the start of pregnancy all the way into motherhood and then all the way back around again if you so wish.” Caitylis, writer, photographer & founder of caitylis.co.uk
Thanks to each and every person joining us on this journey.
Here’s to 2018! Let’s make it great. Let’s #MakeItMainstream.
A bit about Moment Health…
Moment Health is a technology company that aims to prioritise Maternal Mental Health and provide new parents with the tools and knowledge they need to sustain good mental wellbeing – from pregnancy through to parenthood.
The Moment Health app has been developed with clinicians and healthcare professionals. It screens for perinatal, postnatal and associated anxieties, and includes additional features such as a helpful guide to practical and accessible coping strategies.
At Moment Health, our mission is to make maternal mental health mainstream #MakeItMainstream.