St. Albert raised Internet star turned fitness business owner turned tech entrepreneur Sophie Gray is adding another line to an already impressive resume: therapy clinic owner.
Early next month, Gray and a team of nine registered psychologists will open the doors to DiveThru, a psychology clinic located near Whyte Avenue in Edmonton. Gray says she designed the clinic to make therapy easier to access for "today's generation."
"We like to use like 'today's generation' very broadly in our definition," Gray told The Gazette. "It's definitely younger-leaning, but it's more so meant to represent this next generation of person, regardless of age, that is ready for something different when it comes to mental health, and that is more inclined to use technology."
"The space is really meant to be vibrant, engaging and welcoming, and really reflect this generation's mindset of feeling unashamed about their mental health."
Gray launched DiveThru in 2019 as a guided journalling app, which she then offered for free during the COVID-19 pandemic. The business and the app have since evolved into a full-fledged mental health and therapy clinic.
"In my journey, journalling was kind of the first tool that really worked for me," Gray said. "So, we started the journalling app, and from there we started working with more and more therapists to create more general psycho-education."
Clients and interested individuals can use the app to get mental health exercises and resources, book virtual appointments with a staff psychologist, set goals, keep notes for appointments, and pay for sessions.
Gray told The Gazette that finding a psychologist who is a good fit can be a long process, which DiveThru hopes to help people avoid.
Interested individuals can take a five- to seven-minute questionnaire assessing the kind of therapy wanted; what a person's lived experience is; specific preferences for psychologists and preferred meeting times. A psychologist is recommended based on the questionnaire answers.
"We really want that to be thorough so that you really can find the best therapists for you," she said.
Once the office opens, clients will be able to book in-person appointments.
"It's been something we've been working on for a number of months now," Gray said. "I think there's a lot of excitement."
Visa's 'She's Next' Grant
Through the success of DiveThru, Gray was selected as one of the 10 recipients of this year's Visa She's Next grant.
Visa's grant program, now finished its fourth year, awards women business owners and entrepreneurs $10,000, a year of business coaching, and access to a mentorship program through York University in Ontario.
"The initiative aims to uplift women business owners, support local entrepreneurship, and empower growth and innovation," states a Visa news release from Jan. 19.
"For this fourth round, the grant recipients span industries such as education, femtech, wellness, fashion, food and beverage and beyond, each with unique offerings."
Gray says being awarded the grant highlights the need for a business like DiveThru.
"I think it really goes to show that our mission and wanting to ensure that no one struggles alone is really being received and recognized," she said. "It really is a testament to the mission and the values of the company."
"It's allowed us to continue to grow and have the resources to spread awareness about our offerings."
DiveThru currently is unable to directly bill insurance companies for clients with coverage, Gray said, but it's something the company is looking to offer soon.
"All of our sessions can be applied to insurance after the fact, as all of our therapists are registered," Gray said.