Ayana Founder Eric Coly with Sourdough, Creator of Not Real Art

Talking Mental Health for the Marginalized with Advocate and Entrepreneur Eric Coly

Ayana Founder Eric Coly with Sourdough, Creator of Not Real Art

Our guest today is Eric Coly, founder and CEO of AYANA Therapy, an app designed to provide accessible and appropriate mental health care services to marginalized groups. Traditional therapy has mostly catered to the needs of Western societies, and therefore people of color and other minorities have not had access to therapy that is relevant and comfortable for them. Eric describes their service as a combination between Uber and online dating where users are matched with a therapist of their choice. We discuss the obstacles of cost, stigma and the lack of cultural competency among providers and he explains how his business is addressing and overcoming these issues. Without a background in psychology and counseling, Eric explains why he started looking into the availability of mental health services and how his own experience and those of his friends shaped his vision for finding an alternative solution. Taking care of our mental health is of course super relevant for us artists, so don’t miss out on this episode of Not Real Art!

Key Points From This Episode:

•    Encouraging his friends to seek therapy and researching the availability of these services.

•    The difficulty that marginalized groups have in finding compatible therapists.

•    How Eric’s business addresses this widespread problem and the concept behind the name.

•    The demographic they serve and the importance of intersectionality.

•    How cost, stigma and lack of cultural competency in the field of mental health lead to inaccessibility.

•    The importance of educating religious communities and people about therapy.

•    YAVIS and the biases that make it hard for someone of color to access counselling.

•    Giving people a diverse choice of therapists and why these providers need to be relatable.

•    The process of their product, from logging on to communicating with a therapist.

•    Criticism against online therapy and the importance of maintaining the integrity of the experience.

•    Suffering from depression and seeking healing for himself and others.

•    Being aware of how privacy and pride can hinder a person from seeking mental health care.

•    And much more!

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Scott “Sourdough” Power — https://www.instagram.com/sourdoughpower/

Not Real Art Conference — https://www.notrealartconference.com/

Not Real Art on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/notrealartofficial/

Eric Coly on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-coly-8a347613

Eric Coly on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/ericcoly/

AYANA — https://www.ayanatherapy.com/

AYANA Therapy on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/ayanatherapy/

AYANA Therapy on Twitter — https://twitter.com/AyanaTherapy

Kaiser Permanente — https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/

Talkspace — https://www.talkspace.com/

Scott "Sourdough" Power

Scott “Sourdough” Power is the the creator and executive producer of NotRealArt.com. He is also the co-founder of Crewest Studio a digital media company in Los Angeles dedicated to creative culture and the $2T creative economy.