At 16-years old, PromptHealth Founder and CEO Hedieh Safiyari immigrated to Canada from Iran. Hedieh’s interest in health and wellness led to obtaining her undergrad in kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. She went on to finish a master’s degree in cardiac rehab, and worked as a clinician in cardiac rehab for over 15 years at one of the pioneer companies of private healthcare in Canada. After 20 years in the health and wellness industry, Hedieh knew there were gaps in the way people discovered care options, and wanted to do something about it. In 2015, she pursued an executive MBA at SFU to learn how she could approach this issue. After completing 2 years of consultancy work in the health and wellness industry, PromptHealth was launched in 2020. Since then, the team has grown to over 10 people – all on the same mission to help people seeking care reach informed decisions about their health.
I AM FINE
The world has been upside down for most of us since the pandemic started, and a lot of people have suffered being in isolation. Pushing us to the limit after yet another version of this virus, now Omicron, there is a mental health crisis due to more restrictions once again.
In 4 weeks Hedieh Safiyari, PromptHealth founder, has amassed a TikTok following of more than 23 thousand people. Her content and the conversation it sparks, go to show how desperate people are for help. Her intentions were to spread positive vibes and create more awareness about wellbeing, not knowing what to expect. She started creating and posting videos on a daily basis and hosted live video conversations on most nights with a variety of people in a group-type setting.
One particular video that stands out about men’s mental health revealed people’s struggles in the comments section, sharing how they have always suppressed their feelings. Although it’s happening to both men and women, men seem to be more reserved and prone to suffer in silence. There were thousands of views and hundreds of messages all saying the same thing, all preferring self- help solutions. But the problem is often people are unaware of alternative solutions leading to repressed pain which can lead to bigger problems down the road.
Some people are on the verge of breaking as seen by some of the comments on Hedieh’s post:
“No one’s there. I’m at my lowest right now, I attempted last week, I don’t reach out to anyone because no one cares, they just see it as weakness.”
They seem to think they can solve it on their own but often are not well equipped with enough knowledge in terms of where to start. The several comments show how everyone is going through the same thing, yet suffer in silence not doing anything about it.
“Don’t need to talk to anyone. I’ll deal with it on my own.”
Multiple users on TikTok thanked Hedieh for opening the discussion about mental health and bringing awareness to the lack of help available to them…
“I have been through a 12 step program assistance from a psychologist and psychiatrist, as well as drug and alcohol counsellors to help me settle past trauma back where they belong..thank you for bringing these issues to TikTok and inspiring men and women to talk about their experiences!”
Hedieh’s social media has become that “safe space” for people to come together and share their stories and struggles. The need to be heard loved and accepted echoes strongly with people, especially during the pandemic. Often even a simple smile and a listening ear can have the potential to change someone’s life. Listen more carefully next time someone says I am fine…
“I am fine, three small words packing in so much power, used as a two-way shield, protecting us from the world and they from us. I am fine, when someone is saying this, truly listen, because what they are trying to say, what they truly need you to hear is, “Please help me!”
We live in a digital era where people use all kinds of platforms, such as TikTok, to find out about alternative solutions, although the issue is the credibility of the information. PromptHealth, a platform for holistic care options was created to allow people to learn about verified and credible options for their wellbeing. When you have a mental health struggle, waiting to be seen by a professional psychiatrist, that will most likely take over a year is not the only answer. Depending on the severity of the challenges, there are different solutions that exist.
According to Hedieh, “No one might think of talking to a life coach or have even heard of laughing yoga…it is important to know all of your options when it comes to your health, as it is not a cookie-cutter approach!”
Having spent a lengthy career in healthcare, Hedieh noticed firsthand that society viewed health through an illness-focused lens. PromptHealth is on a mission to shift the focus of health to wellness, where a person is healthy in all aspects of their being including mentally, physically and spiritually. Proactively pursuing wellness through exploring alternative options can lead to longer and more fulfilling lives as opposed to dangerous breakdowns resulting in disastrous consequences by ignoring one’s wellness.
Mental health is not independent of physical health. They are interconnected, which is why taking a step back and looking at the whole person is imperative. A holistic approach encompasses the mind, body and soul and targets the root of the issue rather than treating the symptoms after they appear. Compared to traditional healthcare, holistic care broadens the definition of health to include the mind, body and soul. The future of wellness starts with knowing all of your options.