Mexican student helping those with mental illness

Carlos Gomez ‘21, Mexico, spent last summer with other high-schoolers forming a startup company that helps people with mental illness find appropriate healthcare. 

Carlos participated in the Launch X summer entrepreneurship program, which identifies needs in a market and creates a real-life business. The 18-year-old received a scholarship to cover the $8,600 cost for the three-month program.

Initially, he planned to participate in the program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but with the spread of COVID in the United States, the program became virtual.

Carlos and his four teammates got their information from public data on medical image studies and mental health research compiled by Stanford University. His group created a company called Lighthouse. They worked with professionals in the healthcare industry to provide the best treatment available online and offer low-cost professional advice for those with mental illness.

“We did an algorithm,” he said. “We found online resources for people struggling with mental health, counseled them and guided them on how to get help.”

Of the 120 initial participants, eight paid the company for its services, Carlos said. 

“It was really insightful,” he said. “What started as a project for summer camp, ended up helping people who needed our services and reaching out to industry experts.”

They have asked a Canadian group to invest in Lighthouse and are partnering with the National Alliance for Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization serving millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

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