Keep Your Mental Health in MIND

October 2, 2023 Scott Senkier

MIND application

According to an article in Health Payer Intelligence, “Over seven out of ten employers (77 percent) noted an increase in mental health issues in their workforce in 2023, a big leap from 44 percent of employers in 2022. Another 16 percent of respondents expected to see more increases in the coming year.” Mental health issues affect nearly half of all Americans, and it is imperative that people encounter minimal barriers to accessing quality mental health treatment. To support individuals and remove some of these barriers, Summit developed a web application: Mental Health in the DMV (MIND), shown above.

As part of Summit’s mission to make government effective and society just, we support numerous clients through quantitative analysis and application development focused on health and employment. Part of that support includes continued development and investment in technology, healthcare, and related fields. In the spring of 2023, Academy Health sponsored its second annual DataJam competition, which invites participants to submit solutions that meet numerous analytical and data-related requirements.

Summit submitted the MIND application, which was developed by our data science and software development teams and promotes fair and equal access to mental health care. Our theme for the project was access to care, with a specific focus on mental health facility accessibility based on transportation preferences and the user’s specified address. The Summit team recognized that proximity alone does not guarantee the most desirable location for a mental health facility, as factors like parking, traffic, and safety can vary greatly depending on the area. To address this, our application features sliders that allow users to customize their preferences based on walkability, metro accessibility, and bike-friendliness. By highlighting these factors, we hope to help users find mental health facilities that are not only close by, but also safe, convenient, and comfortable.

Figure 1: Diagram of the MIND application

MIND 1 edit

Our application is hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS) and utilizes various technologies and services to deliver an efficient, scalable, and intuitive solution (see Figure 1 above). By using NextJS as our web application framework, we take advantage of modern software development tools including ReactJS and NodeJS for the user interface and back end, respectively. Additionally, our team created an AWS Lambda function written in Python to collect data from the WalkScore API and mental health facilities data file, which was one of the government-required data sources. Our AWS API Gateway controls requests from the client (user) to the back end and allows us scale the application to additional cities if desired.

The Summit team is proud to announce that we delivered a quality submission within 50 days and took home the grand prize in the DataJam competition based on a variety of evaluation criteria. While developing a template that we can use for other custom-based web applications, we also found great satisfaction in creating a solution that supports better access to care for a medical crisis confronting approximately 150 million Americans.

Share This: