By Olivia Wilson
It’s not often that I am truly moved at the creation of an online platform. However when I came across Crisis Heroes, I really was blown away. This was a platform that is set to make a huge difference to people living in isolation across Melbourne and the rest of the world. Immediately I wanted to help spread the word! I signed up about a month ago and was blown away at all the offers of assistance and I hope you read this and feel empowered to do the same.
Mark Acheson – Crisis Heroes
Hi Mark! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the team behind Crisis Heroes.
I’m a journalist, come marketer, come stranded Melburnian! I moved here a few months ago from Tasmania to be closer to my other Crisis Heroes co-founders Matthew Platts and Nicolas Hoban. Matt is our software engineer and Nic our designer and legal expert, being a former lawyer!
When and how did the light bulb moment come about? Have you always been a helpful soul?
The light bulb moment came when Matt and I were forced to cut our American travels short in March this year and come back to Australia to self-isolate. I was actually on my way to work and live in the UK,
a lifelong ambition of mine. I could have chosen to bury myself in my Xbox, but instead Matt and I came up with the idea of Crisis Heroes. We had our friends and family to rally around us whilst we self-isolated, but we thought, “What about people who don’t have these networks?” This is where Crisis Heroes was born, to help people who are feeling isolated or are struggling in light of Covid.
I’ve always tried to look out for the interest of others. I think we can make the world a happier place if we have one another’s backs. Life is hard enough as it is, without having people doing the wrong thing.
What is the main aim of Crisis Heroes and what would you say to encourage people to get signed up?
The main aim of Crisis Heroes is to empower everyday individuals to request or lend a hand. We did a quick market analysis and couldn’t find a free platform for trading goods and services.
To anyone sitting on the fence as to seeking help, I say this, the chances are that you’ve supported someone in a time of need or difficulty, and you didn’t judge them for it. Reverse that sentiment. Never be too proud to reach out for help. There are hundreds of people waiting to give you a hand, be it a friendly chat or running errands. Recently, Crisis Heroes has joined forces with Cyber Clinic, an online mental health clinic providing face-to-face consultations, using a data-driven algorithm to match its users to the right mental health practitioners. Whilst our users are given the appropriate mental health resources to use should they need them, we wanted to take this a step further by ensuring they have access to trained professionals.
There’s a misconception that people can only see a psychologist in person, but Cyber Clinic is bridging that gap between patient and professional.
Loneliness has been a huge issue for many people during the pandemic, was this something you had in mind when coming up with the idea? Do you think Crisis Heroes is helping ease loneliness for people?
Yes, yes it was. Originally the platform was designed for people to run errands or trade services, but we then saw the need to implement a chat function. This chat function has seen the biggest uptake on our platform. It goes to show, along with national statistics, that people are struggling with the Covid-19 restrictions and the impacts of isolation.
I know that Crisis Heroes can be found in a few countries already, but what are the long term plans for spreading the love even further? How will this look post pandemic?
It doesn’t stop post-pandemic. We want to see Crisis Heroes reach every corner of the globe and help as many people as possible. What is great to see is the sense of fulfilment a person gets when they help someone else on our platform. They’ve perhaps never had the opportunity or the resources to help someone before. When they do, they feel overwhelmed with happiness. Not to forget the person who has received help. We had one woman in Melbourne say that she connected with a kind stranger on Crisis Heroes and their conversations were the reason she got out of bed of a morning. That’s huge!
Our partnership with Cyber Clinic is to let people know that there’s professional help available online, right now.
I’ve signed, and I was amazed at all the wonderful offers of help and support! It really does make your heart feel full. How does it feel to have created this wonderful community?
I feel very humbled to be in a position to help others. This wouldn’t have been possible without my amazing co-founders and the support of my friends and family. I just choose to keep this simple mantra: do good.
If you’re a kind soul and would like to sign up and offer your support to someone doing it tough right now, head to Crisis Heroes You can also follow the Crisis Heroes journey on Facebook and Instagram.
Whether it’s offering to walk the dog, grab essentials, or just be available for a much-needed chat, you can utilise this platform to make someone’s day and perhaps and more crucially, save someone’s life!
Olivia is a thirty-something British mum of two living in Melbourne.
Having grown up with a father in the army and being moved all over the world, she is a lifelong ‘expat’, and thoroughly enjoys the adventures that come with a fairly nomadic life overseas. Follow her adventures as a ‘modern day parent far from home’, and share her family’s exploration of Australia at thewilsonsofoz.com