At Tech Collective, we try to shine a light on new entrepreneurs that are making waves in their industry. With that in mind, we came across Joan Low from Thoughtfull about her new venture into the mental health space.

Her startup Thoughtfull provides affordable and accessible end-to-end digital mental health solutions and their chat product ThoughtFullChat is a subscription-based mobile application that provides personalised, daily bite-sized coaching on the go with certified mental health professionals.

We spoke to Joan Low on why she decided to enter this space after being an investment banker at J.P. Morgan. This startup is her attempt to fill in the gaps within the industry and bring about real change to the mental health well-being of the region.

We like to shine the spotlight on Southeast Asia’s entrepreneurs. We speak to Yvonne Yeo, Relogo Relocation and Relogo Coliving

If not running her startup, you can find Joan outdoors, exploring new things or doing yoga and gardening.

Find out more about Joan and ThoughtFull below.

Sell us your company/service in 300 words?

 Feeling exhausted from what seems like back-to-back Zoom calls day-in, day-out? Is the addition of all the other things you have to attend to – kids learning in school or at home, taking care of other family members, managing your colleagues, bosses, downlines – adding to your stress? Is the uncertainty around your job or economic prospects making you anxious? Well, let’s #HaveAThoughtFullChat! 

ThoughtFullChat is a subscription-based mobile chat platform that connects users at various stages of their life, to certified mental health professionals for daily bite-sized coaching – empowering users to proactively engage with their mental wellness as well as digitally-enabling professionals to build a practice on-the-go. Though unlimited asynchronous texting anytime, anywhere, you are empowered to be at your best always. 

ThoughtFull World Pte. Ltd. is a purpose-led digital mental health company that leverages technology, behavioural science, and evidence-based frameworks to provide affordable and accessible mental wellness solutions to corporate and educational organisations, as well as, consumers. Headquartered in Singapore with operations across Southeast Asia, ThoughtFull currently comprises ThoughtFullChat and ThoughtFull Education, a consulting arm that partners with corporate and educational organisations to analyse, design, and implement effective end-to-end mental wellness programmes for their people. 

What is stopping you from having the largest company in the world? 

Perhaps I will tweak the question to what is stopping us from having the most impactful company in the world. Whilst the idea of size may seem enticing, it is ultimately a question of what we choose to do with our size that matters most. 

ThoughtFull’s vision is to make mental health as aspirational as physical health. At the current stage that society is in, there is still some way to go in integrating the proactive engagement with our mental health into our everyday lives. 

Paradigms need to shift, fragmented markets and delivery systems need to be integrated, and innovation needs to drive the sector to a more value-based mental healthcare system. 

In developed markets, these changes have been underway for the better part of a decade. In Asia however, we are at the cusp of this seismic change in the mental healthcare space and ThoughtFull is at the forefront of all the aforementioned developments to come. 

Whilst there was a need for digital solutions in the mental healthcare space even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the focus is now ever sharper and accelerated since the pandemic. For example, funding in the mental health space reached a record high of $576 million in Q120 alone.

The conversation around mental health has thus fundamentally shifted from mere awareness to taking action in the past couple of months. ThoughtFull is proud to not only be contributing to this dialogue, but to also pioneer new ways of proactively engaging with our mental health through ThoughtFullChat. 

If you could change one thing about the tech industry in Southeast Asia, what would it be? 

Southeast Asia is at an exciting juncture in its arc of development as it is driven by one of the youngest populations in the world and adopted technological advancements are allowing it to leapfrog other regions to be at the frontier of new innovations. However, with great power (and accelerated growth) comes great responsibility as well. It is not something to change per se, but rather something to include into our considerations as representatives of this region’s tech industry: Apart from growth for the sake of growth, what are the long term positive and negative impacts our ventures aim to achieve for profit, people, and planet? As frontier markets with the benefit of hindsight from other regions, the onus is on us to innovate not just the “what” of our ventures, but also the “hows” and “whys”. 

Name one person in the region, who is making a difference in technology? 

In every company, there is a visionary and an executor who drives the vision to become a reality. For those reasons, Tan Hooi Ling, Co-founder and COO of Grab, is someone (not just someone, but a fellow Malaysian!) who I truly look up to for her role in executing the grand ambitions of Grab to change the way we live. From transport, to food, to payments – every aspect of my life and every part of this region that i go to – her work, along with her co-founder Anthony Tan and their team of course, has truly made an impact.

What would you want people to remember you for, 100 years from now? 

For mobilizing a movement to co-create #athoughtfullworld – where mental health is aspirational as physical health.