Thero Referral Network
Our non-profit has built a free online Referral Network where licensed mental health providers can send and receive client referrals, promote a therapy group or mental health event, find a job, post a job opening, and even find office space. The best way to easily visualize the project is to imagine Psychology Today combined with a LinkedIn that has been specifically designed for therapists.
Our three primary goals for the Referral Network are to:
1) Make it easy to send and receive patient referrals.
2) Foster collaboration between treatment providers.
3) Integrate the mental health field.
The Referral Network is free (and always will be).
We are focused on innovation, iteration and sustainability.
There are many other organizations that have done pieces of what we've built, but we are dedicated to being a comprehensive solution.
The Referral Network brings together various pieces of technology into one package and the result is the first platform that allows therapists to search for available referrals that are specific to their specialty.
The diversity of our staff gives us unique perspective and insight into problems in the mental health field. We have been able to achieve our progress so far with a minimal budget and have utilized volunteer support and crowd-sourced infrastructure. For example, we use crowd-sourcing to correct outdated or erroneous information on our database and strongly encourage feedback on our design from our community of treatment providers.
Our goal is to make it easy to find mental health services. We plan to achieve this by being "thoughtfully disruptive" in the mental health field, and more specifically in the help-seeking process. We see our job as creating more competition in the space, which we believe will force out-dated models or designs to improve.
The Referral Network is free for licensed mental health treatment providers- and it always will be. The Referral Network needs to be free because it runs on a cooperative model, meaning the more providers in the system, the more benefit it adds to each provider.
Treatment Providers can upgrade their account to be listed in our publicly searched Resource Directory. Providers will pay a monthly fee. This will provide funds to keep improving the resources on Thero.org, including the Referral Network and our programs to reduce stigma.
We have a strategic plan that will allow people to integrate our directory and the search functionality into parts of their website. This way, with very little technical knowledge or skill, almost any person or organization would be able to have the power of our Network on their website. This will move us a large step closer to achieving our mission to make it easy to find mental health services.
We measure outcomes in a couple ways.
If more people were connecting to mental health services the world would be a better place. The number of searches in the first measure of our success and the percentage of people who land on the page and carry out a search is another.
Stigma Reduction Measures
While we do not have the capability currently, we plan to implement surveys that measure people's attitudes toward mental health and help-seeking. We will utilize validated measures such as the Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale (ATSPPHS). We will assess for improvement over time and adapt our programs and directory design accordingly.
To learn more, please visit