People divulge their deepest secrets on Whisper. While some of those secrets are harmless, others trend toward thoughts of self-harm and suicide. And that’s why the company founders had to do something about it.
Whisper founders Michael Heyward and Brad Brooks are launching a digital platform to accompany their nonprofit site, Your Voice, to help those requiring emotional support and assistance. The founders have set up a $1 million endowment to the cause already.
Since Whisper has already referred over 40,000 of its users to suicide hotlines, the need for this specialized kind of site was apparent. Heyward would even stay up late at night talking with people about their problems, going so far as to bring Brooks’ wife, Nicole Brooks, who is a registered family therapist, in for advice on more than one occasion.
Your Voice will now feature videos from users and those curated by admins that show people talking about how they’ve beaten anxiety, depression, and any other mental health problem. People are encouraged to share their stories, explore the provided resources, and chat with people going through the same kinds of problems they are. When the site launched in 2012, it served as an information site for depression and suicide prevention.
Whisper raised $36 million in a third institutional round of funding in May of this year. And back in September 2013, the company raised $21 million in VC funds. Whisper was founded in 2012 and is currently based in Santa Monica, Calif.