This year’s stress has certainly created emotional fallout, and a Seacoast-based startup is offering a digital platform to connect those suffering from anxiety with resources that can help.
CEO Sam Warach (pictured) says the free apps offered by NextStep HealthTech are inspired by the loss of an older brother to a prescription drug interaction.
Warach caught the entrepreneurial bug as a University of NH student and wanted his venture to be socially driven.
After participating in several entrepreneurial programs, Warach says he launched NextStep HealthTech in 2017 to provide technology that he says will improve public health and help people deal with mental health disorders and substance use conditions through multiple apps on its platform.
The company’s NextStepgoodlife.com, an evidence-based, social-emotional learning tool, allows students to engage anonymously with other students to share positive messages, he says.
NextStep has partnered with the NH Department of Education to ensure the app is available to all secondary students statewide. Warach says that agreement was struck pre-COVID, though the pandemic has exacerbated the need for help.
Another app, NextStep.Health, lists substance use conditions and mental health resources, and connects users with virtual counselors and digital wellness modules.
Other apps include a mental health resource finder (heynextstep.org), a youth wellness app (NextStepbloom.com), and a global health resource finder (worldcaremap.com).
NextStep HealthTech participated in the 2019 Accelerate NH program, offered by the NH Tech Alliance, that coaches startups. The company now has three full-time and several part-time employees and is “revenue positive,” Warach says, adding the two newest apps have a few hundred users each, though they are looking to grow.