Wovli Project


You can die from LONELINESS.

It’s true. If you lead a lonely lifestyle you can increase your odds of dying by 45%. In the 1940s only 7% of US households contained 1 person living alone and by 2014 that number quadrupled. Today almost 28% of US households consist of 1 person living alone.

My research has led me to discover that one of the major factors involved in the epidemic of loneliness is complicated grief. People start to lose connections with others when they start to feel that they have lost control over the events and situations of their lives.

But guess what? An individual can regain a felt sense of control over their lives. Loneliness is preventable and so is SOCIAL ISOLATION!

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert you may be withdrawing from others and dropping connections without even being aware of it.

We must raise this awareness about the issue of loneliness and social isolation and the ways in which complicated grief can contribute to this social and emotional pandemic. We can do so by educating individuals on their options for effective treatment and increasing access to the tools that will help to combat this pervasive social problem.

We can tackle this issue and I plan to do so by developing and distributing resources to those dealing with loneliness, social isolation, and depression. The challenge here is to protect some of our most vulnerable populations.

I have an idea for a useful tool that can combat the tendency to socially isolate even in the middle of a global pandemic. But, I’m not the only one who thinks so. I’ve partnered with Clixlogix who has developed one of the leading apps on the web.

I’m on a mission to help individuals experiencing loneliness increase their capacity to connect.

Monica Ross

Founder/Project creator

Monica Ross, LPC, DSW-C is a national board-certified licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Austin, TX. She was previously diagnosed with severe mental illness. Because of this Monica approaches clients with empathy and a focus on evidence-based, trauma-informed care. This project is a big undertaking that will require lots of empathy–hence the name Empathy Whale. Monica received her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from St. Edward’s University. She holds a B.A. in both Psychology and Sociology with a Certificate in Business Foundations from The University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Ross is completing a Doctoral program in Social Work at The University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. Her capstone project addresses the grand challenge of grief, loss, and life transition all of which can lead to transformative and corrective learning experiences as they challenge old assumptions.

Risks and challenges

This app mitigates the risks involved because it is designed from the user’s perspective. The target audience is users entering therapy for the first time who are unfamiliar with the intake process. Conversely, if the app takes off quickly, the design firm has the capability to address user needs quickly. Here is an article that clearly lays out the risks involved in app development. I could not be happier with my development partners Clixlogix as they have experience designing popular mental health apps like 365 Gratitude. Security is of the utmost concern. This app will be encrypted and HIPAA compliant where necessary. The app platforms used will be android and apple who face no foreseen future risk of collapsing. These are the most robust platforms in existence. https://bit.ly/3gvR0OC

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