Not too long ago, 25 year-old Scott Deutsch had had enough. His beloved sister Marcy (diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder and autism) became the victim of severe cyber-bullying. It drove Marcy to the point at which she began to retreat farther inside herself, eventually even considering suicide. Rather than accepting online bullying for what it was, Scott and his mother Robin, developed PsychMoo to provide a safe, online environment for individuals with mental health issues and their families, friends and healthcare providers. The site allows members to interact anonymously with one another and provide both resources and support.
PsychMoo’s development was made possible with the support of Deutsch family colleagues at the National Alliance on Mental Health.
Now, PsychMoo is rapidly garnering acclaim. Its story and its mission are inspiring, as are its two founders, Robin and Scott Deutsch, who recently spoke with me. When asked for words of wisdom or advice she’d like to offer readers, Robin Deutsch spoke with no hesitation. “Mental Health issues are nothing to be ashamed of. There is help out there for you and your loved ones and you don’t have to go through anything alone.”
Just when one might think that the Deutsch Family had enough on its plate, they’ve taken their commitment one step further to show that their love for Marcy knows no bounds. Scott’s next project, Life Skills Winner , functions as a smartphone app that teaches life skills to individuals with autism and special needs. The “Pro
Version” of Life Skills Winner, currently available for the Android (and soon for the iPhone) for $1.99, reinforces important skills such as standing the correct distance from someone when speaking–something that can be challenging for people with autism. A portion of the revenue from the sale of this version is contributed to non-profit organizations that support autism awareness. Scott and Robin Deutsch are working with Autism Awareness , Autism Smiles and Open Door Autism to determine how to expand the Like Skills Winner app, and researchers at the University of Washington will soon begin testing it.
Wondering how PsychMoo has changed Marcy’s life? She is an active member of PsychMoo, and can often be found online supporting its members. She is also a graduate of Pierce College in Washington State, has learned to fly planes, speaks at Special Needs and Autism Conferences, and has become an award-winning artist (actress Kelly LeBrock is a client). You can view her work at her online store Critters on Things.
If you’re interested in joining the PsychMoo Community, you can visit PsychMoo and register as a Member. Once your account has been established, members can start sending out requests for “Supporters”. Members are even able to search for other PsychMoo members with similar mental health interests. PsychMoo updates its site regularly with links to online resources for anyone interested in current events and learning more about mental health issues. And be advised: Membership in PsychoMoo is anonymous and safe. “People with mental health issues deserve privacy, and they should not be afraid to post on websites,” Robin Deutsch explains.