Given that mental health is still very stigmatized in Latin America, Yana aims to democratize access by offering a complimentary — and sometimes only — solution people have to support their mental health. With Yana, people can begin to talk about their mental health in a safe space, reducing barriers to seeking professional help.
CEO + Founder of YANA (You Are Not Alone)
Andrea tried all sorts of therapy throughout her youth, struggling with depression since the age of eight. In her early 20's, she taught herself how to code and after a depressive episode, decided to combine her experience with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and programming to create a digital tool to aid her mental health. Soon realizing that many others could also benefit from a similar solution, Andrea set out to build Yana.
Yana is an AI-powered robot that incorporates CBT methodologies into text form to interact with users. The app has several goals, including to combat anxiety, reduce stress, control moments of anger, and learn to improve relationships with others.
Andrea spent five years building and iterating on her product with increasing sample sizes before publicly launching in early 2020, the same week that Mexico went into lockdown. The app's growth was gradual until Apple highlighted Yana for International Mental Health Day, leading the app's user base to expand from 80,000 to 1 million within two weeks. The app is now one of the top three downloaded in 12 Spanish-speaking countries.
Long-term, Yana's vision is to make mental health accessible to Spanish speakers and Latin America as a whole, and become a virtual home where all of a user's mental health needs can be met in one place.