NORFOLK, Va. — With the help of technology, a former Navy SEAL is making it his mission to help fellow veterans and others navigate mental health challenges.
This comes after eight Sailors based in Hampton Roads have died by apparent suicides since April 2022.
Jonathan Wilson opens up about his transition from life in the military to the corporate world.
The veteran, now based in Denver but once stationed in Virginia Beach, recalls the return to civilian life as one of the most daunting things he's ever faced.
"Which is a shock for most people, I think. In a way you're a Navy SEAL, you've gone to war, you've lost friends. It was by far the hardest thing I've ever done because you lose purpose, identity, teammates, everything about what you knew and who you are," said Wilson.
Recognizing his own struggles, Wilson sought to help others in his position by co-founding the SEAL Future Foundation.
"From that experience of helping with education, job placement, community, we introduced the wellness program to just address head-on the challenges that come from war, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, et cetera," he said.
It's that wellness program, which served as a precursor to INVI MindHealth. Backed by doctors and industry experts, Wilson is leading the charge on developing, and now launching the mobile app.
It's best to pair it with wearable tech, like smart watches or rings.
"We don't care what device you have, we pull biometric information from that. We give you something called a mind score. So, it pulls in the heart rate, heart rate variability, it tells you where you're trending in regards to your Mind Health. Are you trending up or trending down? [...] If you are trending down, we alert you, we alert your swim buddy or friend, family member, whoever you decide you want to be on this journey with you," Wilson explained.
Along with alerts, users can expect recommended solutions.
"It could be a breath work, box breathing, it could be a mindfulness, it could be as simple as going for a walk. In time, with enough data, we'll be able to customize or personalize a solution specific to you," Wilson added.
For him, building a sense of community is a priority.
"We want to be a teammate," he said. "Our initial market or go-to-market is the veteran community, I'm passionate about that. But let's be honest, how many people aren't struggling at some point in their life with their mental health challenges?"
Wilson told 13News Now the app has gone through extensive beta testing with a small group of Navy SEALs.
People can now download an early-stage version of INVI MindHealth on the App and Play Store.
After 30 days, users can opt for a monthly subscription at a cost of $9.99.
Nonprofit organizations can buy block subscriptions, Wilson said. Developers are also in talks with municipal government, to possibly distribute this app to first responders.
Moreover, Wilson welcomes more input and collaboration from doctors, healthcare providers, organizations and military service members. You can contact the company by clicking here.