SI360 alum and current junior at Fordham University, Edward Cush III runs On Your Mind, an interactive messaging platform that gives students the opportunity to freely discuss anything on their mind with counselors situated at their university.
When Eddie Cush (pictured left) finished the first day of his freshman year at Fordham, he and his roommate Will Ierlan (pictured right) had a two-hour, late night conversation where they discussed how hard it was for them to comfortably approach a counselor throughout high school. Reflecting on the anxiety this dilemma had afforded them, Eddie and Will were only left to imagine the extent to which others were impacted by this pressing issue.
By 2:30AM, the two had thought of a way to tackle this hardship head-on. They started talking about the possibility of developing an app where people could anonymously talk about issues on their mind in a comfortable setting. After working on the idea for the greater portion of their freshman year, Eddie and Will participated in a national pitch competition and won 2nd Place.
Thanks to the feedback received from the panel of entrepreneurs at the competition, Eddie and Will started to position On Your Mind as a confidential student counseling app for a university-level crowd instead of an anonymous telehealth platform for a high school-level crowd. On Your Mind’s end goal is for students to feel comfortable before walking into a counselor’s office to have pivotal face-to-face conversations. Providing a comfortable first point of contact between students and counselors is paramount. Thus, On Your Mind aims to be an aid to mental health counseling rather than its replacement.
Eddie and Will are now working to have On Your Mind available for students to be able to check for counseling office hours, schedule appointments, and more. There are two ways they believe the platform could make students objectively comfortable: 1) providing students information on what to expect, the benefits of the platform, etc. and 2) providing students a variety of avenues to engage with the counselors: writing a journal, sending a text message, sharing a voice message or engaging in a phone call, according to each student’s preferences.
Eddie wants On Your Mind to be used as a tool to break barriers in mental health and wants people to feel strong for seeking help, rather than stigmatized. Eddie and Will are currently reaching out to directors from university counseling offices and investors in the tri-state area to be able to pilot On Your Mind at universities across the country.
The SI360 connection
According to Eddie, SI360 ignited the fire and paved the path to continue with the idea for On Your Mind as soon as he joined the community. Eddie found great support from his mentors during freshman year, Michelle Berardino and Eddie Cullen, learning the importance of social impact along the way. SI360 changed his vision of business.
Thanks to the Shift Series event, Eddie met a lot of students from different chapters and discovered that other students had similar experiences within their social entrepreneurship journeys and shared the same beliefs he has.