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App helps connect girls and young women with peer mentors

MoxieGirl is a mobile app that helps guide girls to mental health recovery resources and state-certified peers.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After a tough year, a Louisville startup is trying to help young women and girls struggling with mental health.

Moxie Girl is a mobile app that helps girls to mental health recovery resources and state-certified peers. It's a safe and secure service available to anyone who needs it.

Founder and CEO Lydia Henshaw created the app with the idea of helping girls build their confidence. When a girl goes on the app, she is connected with a mentor who will help her establish and follow through with whatever goals she sets up.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, she quickly shifted focus to areas like substance use, trauma, and everyday anxieties.

"We need to build environments where it's okay to not be okay," Henshaw said.

She said a big part of building that environment is prevention. The purpose of the app is to create a place where girls feel safe coming forward and talking about their issues so they can be connected to other resources.

"If you have a trusted network that's there to welcome, and say I'm listening...we're going to build a relationship," she said.

That system appears to be working because girls are responding. In the last year, the number of telehealth visits set up through the app has increased 154%.

Moxie Girl is also able to serve a huge population under Medicaid, which is traditionally underserved for behavioral healthcare. You can learn more about Moxie Girl and its mission online.

Contact reporter Brooke Hasch atbhasch@whas11.com. Follow her onTwitter (@WHAS11Hasch) andFacebook.

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