Jennifer Libby

Promly – Reinforcing Teen Mental Health with Technology and Love One Step at a Time

Jennifer Libby

CEO of Promly, Public Benefit Corporation & 501(c)3

It’s no secret that the youth mental health crisis was brewing way before Covid-19 happened. According to the CDC, over 5,400 kids in grades 7 to 12 attempt suicide every single day in the United States. Even though teens are constantly “social networking”, up to 70% report feeling disconnected in their daily lives.

In 2022, every teen is at risk of experiencing major emotional disconnect.

GenZ is the most empathetic and psychologically aware generation yet.  However, they have the highest rates of depression and anxiety. This is because they are growing up with an overwhelming exposure to digital content that has shaped their view of themselves and the world around them. And at the same time, they’re experiencing less & less “traditional”, in-person socialization which is unavoidably making them antisocial.

The overload of technology plus the quick “hits” of dopamine can cause profoundly negative changes in the developing brain. Most commonly seen are debilitating anxiety coupled with an increase in impulsivity and a decrease in attention span.

Statistics show that 70% of teen suicides are considered impulsive, with 25-40% planned only 5-10 minutes before the act. Therefore, the effective intervention must be seamless and relevant to have a successful impact.  

Seeing the Unseen in Mental Health Crisis

Jennifer Libby, MSW, LCSW, has been working with teens and young adults for over 20 years, trying to impact individual lives in her practice, all while watching (like the rest of us) the mental crisis emerge and teen suicide rates skyrocket. A few years ago, one of Jennifer’s clients said to her, “Jennifer, adults created social media.  They know it’s harming kids- even killing kids. Why haven’t the adults stepped up to fix it? Do they just not care what happens to us? Are we just some kind of experiment generation?”

Every adolescent client is looking to adult leaders to lead, yet, no one seems to be up for the job of fixing the internet.

Running a startup only recently became a passion for Jennifer after helplessly watching society fail this generation. So Jennifer recruited a fantastic team of motivated GenZ volunteers to figure out what would be an effectiveapproach to the emerging social media and mental health crisis. This led to the inception of Promly.

 

Promly was born from a vision to create a better place for GenZ in a way that would appeal to teens while getting all 10 proactive and preventative steps ahead of teen suicide that can help prevent the catastrophe. 

Mental Health Equipped with Care and Technology

Promly is a social networking ecosystem for high schoolHS students (with a college version coming soon) created for Gen Z by Gen Z. It comes equipped with AI that picks up on suicide and self-harming patterns, and offers accessibility to built-in mental health support. Promly  empowers teens to discover their best selves with its 20BY20 users design and helps a list of 20 goals they wish to achieve by the age of 20. Promly goes even further by providing access to real-world resources to like-minded teens with whom they can build human connections based on these interests

There are hundreds of mental health apps kids simply do not use. It’s estimated that 24% of teens download mental health apps, but only 4% even use the app once.  Promly knows it’s hard to pull anyone away from nonstop social media to take care of their mental health.  That’s why Promly’s team has seamlessly integrated other mental health and empowering apps such as Panic Mechanic into its unique social ecosystem so that it feels intuitive, meaningful, and easy to access when a user is suffering.

Jennifer founded Promly with the goal of modeling a true social enterprise positioned to “do the right thing” in technology. Unlike most other social media, Promly does not sell data and does not have pop-up ads. Rather, Promly’s revenue model is based on traffic generation between partner apps in the ecosystem.It’s a unique hybrid as a 501(c)3 nonprofit and a Public Benefit Corporation that invites STET to  the next funding round.

Being the Changemaker

Jennifer has led Promly’s nonprofit “Promly Change Makers”, which advocates for technology policy changes to address the removal of harmful content like “how to tie a noose” videos on popular social media platforms. These clearly harmful videos are an unfortunate reality despite rising teen suicide rates by hanging and Promly’s joint efforts with Congress on this issue since 2020. 

“While Promly is positioned to help the teen mental health crisis through their mobile application, it’s essential that parents, relatives, teachers, mentors, friends, and adults know that they matter in this battle to create better outcomes.” Jennifer Libby

Promly Change Makers also provides multi-generational outreach, internship programs, outreach to communities at risk, speaking events, and the annual Change Makers Festival at The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on September 9, 2022 (the night before World Suicide Prevention Day). In addition, The Change Makers Festival will be live-streamed to high schools and colleges nationwide, where together we will change outcomes and save lives.

In response to this article, Jennifer Libby said, “While Promly is positioned to help the teen mental health crisis through their mobile application, it’s essential that parents, relatives, teachers, mentors, friends, and adults know that they matter in this battle to create better outcomes. I have not met a teen who has not thought about suicide themselves or have  a friend with suicidal thoughts.  The time to talk about this is now.  The issues have grown too large to be overlooked. Teens deal with this reality every day.  Reach out to kids, and ask them how they are doing. Even if they ignore you or pretend to ignore you, tell them that they matter, tell them that you love them, listen to them, validate them, and let them know you know that sometimes life really is not as easy as everyone makes it look. Acknowledge how overwhelming this world has become. Always reiterate that suicide is never ever the answer.”

Bio:

Jennifer Libby MSW, LCSW

CEO & Founder of Promly, Public Benefit Corporation & 501(c)3 

 

Jennifer Libby, MSW, LCSW is an outpatient psychotherapist of 20+ years who treats a variety of ages but specializes in adolescent mental health.  Many know Jennifer to treat the “difficult to treat” adolescent effectively. Jennifer has been an assistant principal, served as a board member, featured on numerous panels and podcasts, and was recently featured in February 2022 in a press conference with members of Congress on teen suicide prevention. Jennifer advocates for more responsible social media content management including the removal of YouTube’s “How to tie a noose” videos, speaks publicly on a variety of mental health concerns impacting teens, and has provided consultation with numerous agencies, including the Center for Humane Tech (producers of the “The Social Dilemma”) on best practices for teens and tech, 2020.

Given adolescents’ increasing and ever-changing needs in this generation, Jennifer has added another challenge to her life.  She is now the founder of Promly.  Promly is a safer social networking app exclusively for high school students (created with an amazing Gen Z team) geared at providing a digital ecosystem that aims to proactively get 10 steps ahead of teen suicide while also fueling genuine connectedness with teens.  Promly provides education, empowerment, and much-needed dmental health resources to high school students on an online platform that they naturally gravitate toward, rather than waiting for adolescents to be in crisis or seek support on their own.  Fueling empowerment, engaging teens, and motivating by collaboration is the model Jennifer believes is most effective in building positive connections and changing our world for the better.  Jennifer now resides in the great Garden State with her husband and 4 daughters.  Jennifer loves skiing, is a huge fan of Gen Z, and feels like life would be better if every room had a disco ball. The Promly app is expected to be released commercially in Spring 2022.  Promly is also sponsoring The ChangeMakers Music Festival on September 9, 2022, at the Prudential Center.  Follow Promly @promlyapp for updates.  (Instagram ,Tiktok, Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook)

Company

Promly

 

Management

Jennifer Libby

CEO & Founder

 

Description

Jennifer Libby, MSW, LCSW is an outpatient psychotherapist of 20+ years who treats a variety of ages but specializes in adolescent mental health.  Many know Jennifer to treat the “difficult to treat” adolescent effectively.

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