SDG Impact Icons: Terri Storey
“Change is challenging, but it’s possible. It all starts from a place of wanting to make things better for others.”
In partnership with Employment and Social Development Canada, each month, Startup Canada is celebrating and putting the spotlight on a leading Canadian social innovator driving change in one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Startup Canada was pleased to sit down with Terri Storey, Founder & CEO of SnapClarity to learn about their impact on SDG 3—Good Health and Well-being.
Terri Storey is a leader and visionary in the field of mental health with more than 20 years of experience. As CEO and Co-Founder of SnapClarity, Terri is revolutionizing the way people access and experience mental healthcare. Previously, Terri founded Terrace Wellness Group, which includes Terrace Wellness Centre and Terrace Youth Residential Services (TYRS). TYRS is one of the largest treatment organizations in Ontario. As Ottawa’s 2014 Entrepreneur Businesswoman of the Year and one of select few women to be CEO of a technology company, Terri passionately mentors young entrepreneurs through discussion and practice.
SC: What is SnapClarity?
TS: The SnapClarity digital platform helps organizations build and strengthen their mental health strategy and take better care of their people by making it easier and more convenient for employees to access insurable mental health therapy in an effective and affordable way.
While SnapClarity is—of course—available to individuals to access, we feel by empowering employers we can reach more people quickly; getting mental health support into the hands of Canadians as fast as possible.
SC: How does your work advance SDG 3—Good Health and Well-being?
TS: We are positioning ourselves to be a Canadian leader for the global framework to support mental health. As innovative leaders in mental health support, SnapClarity wants to demonstrate to the global market what is possible to affect change—and then we want to teach them how to do it.
SC: What motivated you to build SnapClarity?
TS: As a front-line mental health provider for more than 25 years with a brick and mortar facility I founded, I was frustrated by the lack of access to mental health support for everyone requiring it—including long wait times in public care facilities.
I wanted to put care into the hands of those who needed it; when they needed it; in an affordable way. Technology allowed me to create that framework with an easy to use app that gives people access to a licensed therapist with evidence-based results.
SC: What impact have you had to date and what are you most proud of?
TS: Our mobile app is now changing how employees access and experience high-quality mental healthcare to manage their stress, anxiety, burnout, and depression—and it’s increasing productivity in the workplace.
At the touch of a button, employees receive access to a personalized wellness plan and support from a registered, licensed therapist by text, video, or via audio sessions. I am deeply proud of the fact that we have literally put mental health support into the hands of people who need it.
We know the primary barrier to recovery is access to care. This service enables people to receive the treatment they require and has the ability to identify risk for mental health and support coping strategies.
SC: What’s inspired you to persevere through tough times?
TS: Those who know me well understand I just don’t stop when I have a purpose—and I fundamentally believe this is my purpose; to lead change in the mental health space. I’m constantly inspired by people who tell me that we helped get them to a healthier place. I hear daily how SnapClarity is making a difference, and that’s what inspires me to keep going.
SC: What is the next mountain you are climbing?
TS: We’re shouting from the mountain top about the need for effective mental health support—and we need more people to join us up here!
SnapClarity is constantly evolving as we learn more about what clients need through our evidence-based care. It’s an important tool for us to know what’s working so we can provide new tools as we evolve.
SC: What has been your biggest learning along the way?
TS: Surrounding myself with other leaders. You don’t disrupt an entire health care sector without an amazing team—and you have to listen to them. Nobody gets here alone.
I had to ensure that they could work enthusiastically with each other, not just with me. Perhaps the single biggest factor in achieving success is not just having great people, but having them in the right positions.
SC: Where can people go to learn more about your journey and organization?
TS: Our website can easily provide everything companies and individuals need to know about us, including a request form so we can provide a demo to employers, and a blog with helpful strategies. We’re also highly engaged in social media.
SC: What is your dream for Canada and the world regarding mental health and well-being?
TS: Canada is a leader in so many ways and I believe we will be again in the area of providing affordable and effective mental health support for people around the world. So many human beings are not reaching their full potential because they don’t have the support they need when they need it. We want to change that.
SC: What’s your message to Canada and the world?
TS: In order to be effective in tackling mental health, we need to first reduce the stigma associated with it. Our biggest challenge is empowering people to seek the help they need and overcome the fear of being judged.
What we can all do is give those people support and commend their bravery for spreading the message that it’s okay, and there is help. Needing mental health support is not a weakness. In fact, asking for it is—most definitely—a strength.
Change is challenging, but it’s possible—especially when you’re part of a team willing to give time, energy, and mental space toward making a difference. It all starts from a place of wanting to make things better for others.
Do you want to make things better for others? Join the Startup Canada Social Impact Network to gain access to social enterprise programming online and on-the-ground.