Mental Health Education Redefined and Transformed
Episode 537

Marjorie Morrison, CEO at PsychHub

Mental Health Education Redefined and Transformed

We live in a time where there’s a considerable degree of fear, worry, and concern for our health, family, education, economy, and more. In these difficult times, having the right mental health helps us handle stress, think positively, and make the right choices.

Today’s episode features Marjorie Morrison, president, and CEO of PsychHub, the premier online platform for impactful and engaging videos and courses on mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention. She discusses how her company utilizes precision therapy and training paraprofessionals about mental health. She shares her thoughts on veterans, creating a dynamic online library filled with mental health resources, and more. Please tune in to listen to our fantastic conversation with Marjorie.

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Mental Health Education Redefined and Transformed

Episode 537

About Marjorie Morrison

Marjorie Morrison is the president and CEO of Psych Hub, an online platform providing free, engaging videos about mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention. Prior to founding Psych Hub, Marjorie was the founder and CEO of PsychArmor Institute. Marjorie is a California Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, a PPS-credentialed School Psychologist, and the author of The Inside Battle: Our Military Mental Health Crisis.

Mental Health Education Redefined and Transformed with Marjorie Morrison, CEO at PsychHub transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Mental Health Education Redefined and Transformed with Marjorie Morrison, CEO at PsychHub was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket. Saul Marquez here and today I have the privilege of hosting Marjorie Morrison. She’s the president and CEO of PsychHub. The premiere online platform for impactful and engaging videos and courses on mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention. A visionary and passionate pioneer in the mental health space, Morrison co-founded Psycho with Patrick J. Kennedy to connect people with best in class online certification trainings for providers and free public video libraries for people seeking to learn more about some of our nation’s most vexing mental health challenges. In her current role, Morrison is reimagining behavioral health through intentional and thoughtful design by leveraging the digital space and combining clinical research with the art of storytelling. Her mission is to provide engaging evidence based content on mental health that is easily accessible to everyone. Everybody can probably appreciate the problems that were faced with covid and, you know, many are saying mental health is the second way. If there isn’t a reemergence. And so the time is ripe for these types of solutions. And Marjorie and her team are doing extraordinary work. And so I want to welcome you to the podcast, Marjorie, and I’m excited for our conversation today.

Marjorie Morrison:
Well, thanks so much for having me. I’m very excited to be here. Appreciate it.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. So what led you to start Psycho? You know what inspires your work in health care?

Marjorie Morrison:
It’s a great question. I landed in a situation where I had started psych armor, which is online education and the military veterans space, which was a sheer coincidence because I didn’t know anything about online education. When I started it. But through that experience, I learned so much about the power of online education because you can scale it so quickly to reach large audiences, but you don’t ever lose the authenticity of the content. No, if if you do a train, the trainer you train, then someone else trains what they put their own spin on it. And slowly over time, it loses kind of that core piece of it. So I saw how powerful it was in the military veterans face and recognize that there was a larger opportunity to do training and use education, online education and the greater mental health, substance use and suicide prevention. So I kind of came at it from my prior organization, which is still alive and well. But but how how I ended up learning was really on the job, the details of it.

Saul Marquez:
That’s cool. That’s cool. So let’s dive into this. Marjorie, tell us how the PsychHub platform is adding value to the health care ecosystem.

Marjorie Morrison:
So if mental health is really a complicated the whole just area of health, and it means, first of all, it means something different to everyone. I mean, we don’t even know within our own kind of field whether it’s mental health or behavioral health. And inside it, there’s all kinds of issues. You just look at providers. There are psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, marriage family therapists, addiction counselors. And people don’t know what’s the difference of all these different types of providers. So there’s complications there. Then there’s symptoms and diagnoses. And if you are depressed, does that mean you have depression? If you’re anxious, you have anxiety. So there’s this whole level of like issues with diagnoses. And then there’s what were the most kind of passionate about, which is evidence based interventions. And most providers in the mental health space aren’t using them. And most consumers of mental health don’t know about them, which are these specific interventions that have been proven to be more effective at treating symptoms and diagnoses than others. But most providers today just use theory on a theory you learn in grad school, and that’s pretty much you treat everybody the same. And I’m one myself or a generalist. And so what we’re very focused on, I guess, to answer that question about the ecosystem is training providers to use evidence based interventions in their practice. We call it precision therapy. So if you’re coming in with sleep issues, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is the most effective treatment for that. We train providers how to do that in a very systematised, staged approach and also provide training for the client as well. That helped reinforce what you’re learning in your treatment. Another way on the eco system is that our next tier, we kind of have our cycad triangle, the run tier Right. below. That is where we kind of called paraprofessionals because there’s a really big access issue in mental health. They’re just there’s not enough providers to meet the demand. And so what we’re focused on is also training at these paraprofessionals who aren’t licensed mental health providers, that they still can offer support using evidence based interventions. So they could be things like non license providers, coaches, psych tax, faith leaders really could be nurses. So we’re we’re working on training them up to uses evidence based interventions, they run below that we call gatekeepers. And these are people who are aren’t ever going to do like an intervention or, you know, to a systematize treatment. But they still oftentimes can be the first person that sees mental health issues. So it could be a teacher. It could be a receptionist. It could be your hairdresser. It could be a you know, again, a faith leader. So training them to understand mental health needs and how to screen it and how to refer is really important. And then the bottom of our rung is everybody in training, really teaching people about how to be informed. Mental health literacy about mental health and all that. So I’d say that’s our approach to the ecosystem.

Saul Marquez:
Man, that’s so cool. And it really starts from the foundation of, hey, let’s keep it simple here. The building blocks. This is what works. But all the way up to being evidence based versus theory based for for the actual providers.

Marjorie Morrison:
Yeah, that’s exactly right. And it’s so interesting because most people that are outside of it just assume, well, if I’m going to see a therapist for depression, that they’re using an evidence based intervention to treat depression, they don’t know. And how would you know? But that doesn’t happen. And it’s not required. So big transformation is is needed. And, you know, we’re grateful to be part of that.

Saul Marquez:
That’s great. Now, you know, and the work is super important, you know, in this area. And I feel like, you know, just based off of conversations I’m having with leaders in the space and and reports, it’s becoming less taboo. You know, people are people are realizing, hey, you know, one in five people, we have, you know, mental health issues and and it’s OK. You know, it’s a normal thing versus that stigma that used to be in place. Have you found that that is helping you guys? The shift toward more focus on mental health?

Marjorie Morrison:
Yeah. I mean, in a certain sense, I actually felt guilty saying this because with all the chaos that’s going on in the world between Covid and with that, the protests, mental health is we all say in our field, it’s our time. I mean, everyone is focusing or at least it feels like it on mental health right now. And it’s a good thing. It’s a really good thing. And that it needs it. The interesting thing about mental health is it’s like physical health. It affects everybody. It’s not like, oh, my Uncle Joe has mental problems. Everyone has it. That’s just part of life. People feel anxious. People feel depressed. People have. I mean, and it changes as you go through life and you have transitions where it’s more complicated and you have unexpected circumstances happen, whether it’s Daxter illnesses or so it it needs to be a conversation. But you are absolutely right. I mean, historically, it has been taboo. It has sort of been posed as if you can’t, you know, get it together or there’s something wrong with you. But, you know, it’s it’s tough and it’s complicated. And I think what makes it even more difficult is there is no silver bullet. If you have strep throat, you go to the doctor, you get an antibiotic. The expectation is within a few days, your strep throat is going to be gone. Mental health, it’s you can have something that works for somebody, but it might not work for somebody else. And there’s just a lot of variables. And they have to do with whether, you know, things you don’t even think about. Are you urban? Are you rural? Your ethnicity, your you know, they’re just there’s so many different types of things that play into what’s more effective. And then at the end of the day, different people need different things. Some people do very well with self care. Some people do very well. Peer support. Having somebody else with lived experience helped them through it is more powerful than going a professional saving. We all have to move into a more understanding and more kind of just empathic spot with mental health and not be so egotistical that we. This is the one way.

Saul Marquez:
Totally. Yeah, I think that’s well said, Marjorie. And so as you guys, you know, put your solution out there and you’re working with the various stakeholders and customers. Share with us how you know, how you guys are doing things differently and what types of results you’re getting for your customers thus far.

Marjorie Morrison:
So, again, my favorite topic is our learning solutions. Thank you for your ideas. Is it fair, the first of those peers that I mentioned, that providers, the professionals Right., which are like those paraprofessionals and the kind of community supporters with all of those we’ve created, our product is called they’re called learning hubs. OK, call them learning hubs, because typically when you think of online education, it’s like. One and done you take something, it’s very simplistic. Maybe you’re looking at something, a PowerPoint with audio or just a very simple kind of experience. And when you’re done with it, it’s over. So and when you are learning like that, what you can test for is knowledge learned. You can take a pre-test and post-test. And you could say this learner learned new skills or new competency at the end of the course. But in truth, the vast majority of that’s lost Right. within days of when that courses is completed. So we really challenged ourselves to move to the next level, which is behavior change. Right. So how do you take that knowledge learned and transfer that into behavior change? And for us, our ultimate goal is that people get better. Right. So that if you’re the client, that you have symptom reduction and you’re feeling better. So we worked our way backwards and we created the first kind of piece of this is the certifications where you actually learn how to do the intervention. And we do it using many different modalities to keep it engaging because we all have short attention spans. So we’ve thought of everything we do a role play of a video role play of a client who’s having a struggle, who sometimes talks to the camera, but also is role played with the therapist. And throughout the whole training, you’re solving that person’s issue. We have providers actually talking to each other and sometimes even arguing about why they use this intervention. And when it works them and all of that, just to kind of reach people at the level that they’re at, the providers we put in animations and games and all of that just to keep it moving. Once they can finish and they complete and they get a certificate of completion. Then we’ve game of five, the process for them to earn certification. And that’s like where that paper change happens to take ongoing learning. So they have a whole series. They unlock a whole series of videos. So let’s just say, for example, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. I think I brought that up. And that is that is a lot of people, if they’re not sleeping, they just want someone to help them sleep. They don’t need to talk about what happened in fifth grade for six months. They just want to sleep. And if they sleep well, all of these other symptoms going on in their life might be more manageable. So we send them the provider can send them a video. You’re about to start cognitive CBT for insomnia. It’s let’s just say, five stages. I’m making it up. I can’t measure what it is. They get an overview of what that looks like or what what to expect. Before each session, they get animated short video explaining what the session is going to be. Any exercises or things that the therapist does in session, they get a video that then reinforces that so they can practice that skill at home. And then we have all these videos for the provider to highlight, you know, key concepts and things like that. And they earn points for engaging with the platform. And we have a bunch of other benefits, a peer support forum and all of that stuff. And then when they get a thousand points, they earn a certification. So and they have to do some other things, like a case study or whatever. But that that’s how we think we’ve done it very uniquely. And then the bottom rung. They won. That’s for everybody. The true mental health literacy we have on our Web site over a hundred and fifty, all free, short animated videos, they’re all less than four minutes, about three to four minutes on all kinds of topics, mental health, substance use and suicide prevention. Those are shared like all over the place. We have over 600 partners that take our videos and share them. So everything from Major League Baseball to the largest insurers to non-profits, large non-profits, small non-profits, corporations, small companies, small businesses. And so that’s what’s really cool, too. It’s been so much fun to watch.

Saul Marquez:
That’s awesome. And, you know, the thing that I really like and believe is effective about your approach is how you reach these different stakeholders. You don’t leave anybody out. And there’s an opportunity for learning across every single stakeholder.

Marjorie Morrison:
Yeah, it’s true. Well, we’re all part of it goes back to your first question about the ecosystem. You know, we’re all part of that ecosystem. And what’s nice for us to say is we are a hundred percent focused on just education. So we don’t do any direct care or any digital therapies or anything like that. We’re 100 percent on the education piece. So because of that, we are able to bolt ourselves on to what other great stuff that other groups, companies and organizations are doing because we’re just that education piece. So it allows us to get a wider exposure. You want to call it to tell those different audiences.

Saul Marquez:
You’re complimentary.

Marjorie Morrison:
Yeah, that’s that’s how we like to see ourselves.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. And I mean, I’m looking through your videos now. Just insane, the amount of videos you have here. Amazing. Yeah. And they’re searchable, which I like. So I mean, so folks, if you’re looking for an education and mental health. This is cool. Psychhub.com and a video library. Pretty insane content there. I’m impressed with what guys putting out there. Yeah. And so, you know, it takes commitment to be this focused and have the you know, the the amount of just this content that you have out there. Just incredible. So what would you say is is one of the, I guess, setbacks you’ve seen that’s been a key learning that’s made you guys even better?

Marjorie Morrison:
Oh, wow. Well, I think just over time. I mean, like there I’ve just had so many series of different setbacks. You know, in my whole career, I mean, I started out I was in private practice. And then I I was on at the Marine Corps base and I was writing. I ended up writing and developing a mandatory counseling program and implemented that. And, you know, got, you know, bumped around with a bureaucracy that I didn’t know about. You know, it was like such a great it was such a great program and it was so well received. But we had bureaucratic issues that like literally shut the program down. So, you know, it’s just all sometimes it’s like life is just so interesting where sometimes when you’re having the most success, you can have something that you least expect Right. that like that curveball that just gets thrown at you. And I, I’d say, you know, with Psych Hubb, it’s been a little bit easier for me because I came from having built a successful organization with psych armor. And and then I joined forces with Patrick Kennedy. And I think between the two of us, we both had a lot of street cred. Yeah, there was there was good reputation. And and I I’ll just tell you that at the end of the day, that’s what matters the most. You know, it’s like you are your reputation. And so when you do good work along the way, doors to open for you, because people know you and they trust you.

Marjorie Morrison:
So I felt like it feels like with this, it’s been in that regard easier because because of that. But with psych armor, it was really tough because I was I was in the veteran space. I wasn’t a veteran. So it’s like you imagine, and it’s very territorial. And I came in and I landed there because I had had it’s a longer story. But at the end of the day, I realized that there was all these nonprofit supporting veterans. But really, it’s the civilian it’s the non military person that if the veteran, when they leave the military and they go back to school, where their teachers, if they use their commercial health insurance, where their providers, if they, you know, get a job, where their employers, if they use the nonprofits, where they’re volunteers. And with only less than one percent of the country’s serving, there’s ninety nine percent of us that really don’t get 10 percent of the country is military connected. So 99 percent of us not serving, 90 percent of us don’t understand military culture at all. But yet were there safety net? And so I really had this kind of idea, concept of creating an online library of education for all the 90 percent of us civilians. And it made sense. And I got it funded and we started building it. But I came up against, you know, well, did you serve? And you say, no, I didn’t, sir, which is why I wanted to do this, because it was so hard. The learning curve to learn how to be supportive to the military community was really hard for me. I want to make it easier for other people. But you didn’t serve. You know, I just it was like the first question I was always asked. And, you know, I had to lead with. I had to literally like my elevator pitch was I didn’t serve. I didn’t serve. I didn’t marry someone in the military. No one in my family been in the military. And therefore, that’s why I didn’t. So I think some of it is credibility, you know, which can be to such a setback. And the other thing I think I’ve learned a lot over time, I’m just thinking about this right now, is that they think age helps you with this, is that you just realize how much you don’t know. And I think younger by younger me just wanted to be good at everything and know everything. And I, you know, would feel insecure in here if I didn’t know everything. And now I’m just like my greatest strength is surrounding myself with people smarter than me. I just I’m good at kind of saying I don’t know anything about that. But I do know someone who is doing that to kind of help fill in those those holes.

Saul Marquez:
Very cool. Not so great. And, you know, you take what you’ve learned and you keep building on it. You did great work with psych armor and now you’re just scaling it in a new way with PsycHub. What would you say is the best way you help people and the best way you help your customers? Maybe an example would be great.

Marjorie Morrison:
I guess I say that it’s going back to your question about the stigma. And I think it’s normalizing it, making that it’s OK, that it’s OK to not be OK. I think a lot of a lot of loved ones, concerned ones are are struggling just as much because they either it’s like a family member or a caregiver, spouse, friend. You know, it’s really hard to see someone struggling. And so many times that person who’s struggling, they they oftentimes don’t know it. It’s just it’s an odd thing if you think about yourself and what going through a difficult time, oftentimes you don’t realize until you’re out of it and you think I was really depressed then. But it’s like when you’re in it, you know. But those around, you know, and it’s very hard for them. They don’t know what to say. Are they saying too much? No, they get. With resistance. And so I think we’re doing a really good job at empowering people and giving those loved ones kind of the nuggets of either affirmation that, you know, it’s OK. This isn’t your fault. You know, that your spouse is struggling or this or that and some skill run doing that. And then also, I think just for individuals like, again, letting them know that it’s OK, it’s OK to not be OK, especially, you know, in uncertain times. It’s it’s anxiety provoking to not now. I mean, we talk about reopening the country, but we don’t even know what that looks like. I mean, I’m just telling you, I don’t even know what I’m going to reopen my office. Right. So, I mean, part of it, I think, for for us and for our customers is really just kind of meeting people where they’re at and letting you know, making it OK. And then I think for the providers, pushing them a little bit, giving them the confidence that they could use more precision therapy in their in their practice. And the feedback has been phenomenal from both sides. It’s so cool just watching people change their way that they treat in their office and everybody benefits. So that’s it’s been great.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. That’s really neat. Right. Because let’s not forget, you guys are at the core education, but you’re also striving to increase the better outcomes through evidence based medicine. Right. I mean, and and so how are you seeing this adopted? Is the PsychHub’s certification becoming a thing that people seek to promote that they that they have?

Marjorie Morrison:
Yes. So so far, so our learning hubs were just released two months ago. We released last April over 100 of the short videos and then the learning. And we had been working with the national insurers. So the health insurers. So we’re really working at it on a kind of an enterprise level. So the trainees out through the large insurer plans and the hospital and health systems, the larger went that way. And so it really has been it has been great to see. It has been it’s definitely being adopted. We’re seeing that over 60 percent of providers that come in and take one learning hub, one certification, are coming in for an additional one, which is really cool. Yeah, I mean, and our goal isn’t to have providers trained and everything. We want to see providers or like I’m a specialist in anxiety and depression. I’m a specialist in child and adolescent. You have a really big picture, right? We’re really looking to get the field much more specialized, but we are really seeing that people are honing in, honing in their craft. We are working in a number of different areas. So it’s really cool just to watch it. We’re in the Medicaid space, so working in that regard through community health centers, it’s a certain type of population. Then we’re working on the commercial side. So with the network providers and we call them single shingles, because if you think about it, they’re all out throughout the country, just sprinkled everywhere. And a good majority of them aren’t part of any medical group, aren’t part of any system. So reaching them would be very hard individually, but by by through their plans, if they’re a impanelled on one of the insurance companies, we’re getting to them that way. And then we’re starting to have and we had one today, some really good conversations with the credentialing bodies that credential providers about, including our certifications in their credential. Super. That’s to your question about is it finding it momentum? And our goal, of course, is to get all those providers paid more that are certified. So we’re working on that daily and it’s really moving in the right direction.

Saul Marquez:
That’s outstanding. Good for you. That’s awesome. And a testament to the persistence and the focus that you guys have here. What are you most excited about, Marjorie?

Marjorie Morrison:
I guess I’d say I’m really excited that for mental health that it’s our time. You know, I’m excited to see this a transformation of this this whole kind of industry or market, which is really broken and fragmented. And I’m really hopeful a lot of transformation is needed. It’s amazing how far behind it is. I mean, I give so much credit to Patrick Kennedy, you know, my co-founder, because he’s just been such a vocal advocate, just talking about growing up the Kennedy. All of it has been with him and his family. And I just he he kind of paved the way for so many others. You see celebrities coming out now and athletes coming out now and talking about it. And when they do that, it makes it okay for everybody else. So I’m excited. I’m I am. And, you know, it’s so funny because people will be kind of like, oh, you want to meet this person? I think they might be doing something similar to what you’re a. I’m like, oh, please. Like, there’s so much work to be done. Like, we need everybody in there. You know, getting in there and and doing whatever they can do. Everyone can kind of do something to kind of, you know, get at it. So I’m really hopeful and excited about the future for mental health and the transformation that I think is going to come. So it’s coming.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. Yeah, it’s certainly exciting. I get excited just chatting with you about this. I mean, and the level of commitment and passion and just the great work you guys are doing is as fantastic. As a reminder, folks, you could go to PsychHub.com to learn more about them or go to outcomesrocket.health in the search bar type in psychhub. You’ll see a full transcript of our chat today with Marjorie Morrison, the CEO of PsychHub. And you could just download things from their links to get directly to PsychHub. It’s all there for you. So make sure you check that out and work with them. You know, they’re seeking to add more partners to their database. If you’re a provider, by all means, take a look at what they’re offering with Learning Solutions. This is this is great stuff, Marjorie. And, you know, here we’re at the end of the interview. I could chat with you for another hour about this stuff. But I would love if you could just leave us with a closing thought. And then the best way that that, you know, either companies, individuals can best engage with your company.

Marjorie Morrison:
Well, first of all, thank you for for having me. I really appreciate it. I think I’d say a closing thought would just be that, you know, your voice matters and everyone has a voice. And change happens when it’s collective right. So if everybody is okay to share at times when they’re not OK, you not only feel better because you’re sharing and getting it off your chest, you’re making it OK for that person who you’re talking to, to not have to pretend or to have to be OK. All the time, too. So it’s like when you look at real systemic change, it it’s going to come from all of us. And so I would just I would say that, you know, also we’ve got to work on being more open minded to differences. Right. It’s OK to be different and it’s okay to have different opinions. That doesn’t mean somebody fat or somebody is good. Like I always say, this is like we gotta move away from black and white. And the answers are always in the grey. They’re just always in the gray. And so it’s the same thing for mental health are all things to just challenge ourselves to be open minded than to share more openly about every you know, about things that that we’re going through. As far as reaching me, I think that was your other question. Yes. Yeah. So you can definitely reach us at PsychHub. We have a number of different folks on the team. You can reach me. You can send me an email Marjorie Morrison. So it’s MMorrison@psychhub.com. I’m really good. I actually clear out my inbox every day so that I’m down to like a 20 is usually my. I do respond and and just, you know, if there’s anything that I can do or we could do to be helpful or get you to the right place where there. But just, you know, just keep on just keeping real.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. That’s fantastic. Marjorie. Well, kudos to your team for the for the great work that you’re doing to make mental health something that’s more normal, something that we all have to do and we get to do. So I appreciate everything you’re doing. And thanks for sharing your insights today.

Marjorie Morrison:
Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

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Things You’ll Learn

  • There is immense power in online education
  • Proper training for gatekeepers is essential.
  • Life throws curveballs so always be prepared.
  • At the end of the end, your reputation matters most.