I co-founded UB Joyous in June 2020 and currently serve as its CEO. UB Joyous is an independent therapeutic practice providing holistic mental health services like counseling, group therapy, and coaching packages. We offer our services face-to-face or online via Telehealth technology. We teach our clients to be happy and joyous to lead transformational lives.
How We Operate
We use spreadsheets and coaching software to track our clients’ mental health progress. The software enables us to identify their behavior patterns and use the trends to chart and forecast their progress or regress. Our business also develops innovative operational models for clinical services delivery to diverse populations; this allows us to expand our clientele to people from different races and gender orientations. Through the charitable arm of our business, we raise funds to provide pro bono mental health coaching and counseling services to underprivileged populations.
My core motivation for co-founding UB Joyous was my daughters and my desire to make a difference regarding mental health. I dream of the day when I will look back at taking stock of how I assisted vulnerable families to the best of my capabilities.
My relationship with my daughters greatly contributed to my determination to help others. They taught me never to give up in difficult times; to them, the sky is the limit. My daughters also taught me to dream big, have patience with myself, and practice resilience in all my endeavors.
As a Pakistani immigrant living in the US, coupled with my status as a single mother, I have had my fair share of mental struggles. I have also witnessed the mental struggles of many immigrants and single mothers. My conscience and empathy for others would not allow me to turn a blind eye to the mental health challenges afflict millions. I am no stranger to problems but what makes me stand out from the crowd is the resolve and will to make happiness my companion. I am passionate about being the voice of positivity during a patient’s lowest moments. sical
Origin of My Social Conscience
My social conscience and empathy for others emanate from my homeland, my husband, and the real-life stressors I have witnessed first-hand.
First, my husband was a crucial driving force on many fronts. He taught me empathy rather than pity for the less privileged. I understood that to make a difference in people’s lives; I was more helpful in taking action rather than receding inward with sympathy. His insights have always helped me to remain useful in the face of adversity. Furthermore, his optimistic outlook has motivated me to change the lives of people around me through social work and advocacy.
Secondly, the numerous personal and communal social problems have inspired me to pursue the mental health discourse. I have witnessed mental health challenges leading to and emanating from addiction, Catastrophes, and financial challenges. I believe we all hold common qualities in the face of adversity, however latent they may be; resilience and a desire to alleviate my suffering and make a difference for others.
The seed for my commitment to mental health discourse was planted in Pakistan; the country was rife with poverty, illiteracy, and substance abuse. The plight of my people in Pakistan has helped me remain strong whenever I see these problems. Rather than break me down, the problems inspired me to be a visionary leader and a problem-solver. Amid the harshness of my surroundings, I was determined to receive the education and clinical experience necessary to become a catalyst for positive change in social work and mental healthcare; I was determined to harness the education I received in the West to solve the problems in my home country Pakistan, the United States, and the other parts of the world.
My Academic Experience
During my college years in Pakistan, I interned at a nonprofit hospital, the Pakistan Institute of
Medical Sciences. There, I became acquainted with the entire spectrum of psychiatric diseases. I developed and led a variety of therapeutic creative arts and music activities for patients at the institute. Through those activities, I observed how patients successfully restored and maintained optimal functioning when engaging in such activities as a supplement to mental health medication they received from me and the others. I worked in various mental health clinics in different capacities, helping people deal with depression, anxiety, anger, domestic violence, drug abuse, grief, post-traumatic stress disorder, addictions, and other mental health conditions detrimental to their success and well-being. My Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at the University of Michigan and my master’s degree in social work at Columbia University further opened my eyes to the urgency needed in mental illness in society.
All of the above experiences constituted the genesis of UB Joyous. Beyond its core services, one of its main intentions is to offer a platform through which people beyond the walls of my community and across borders that lack access to counseling services could receive the support and assistance they need to live meaningful and productive lives.
Challenges We Have Faced
Our initiative to use Telehealth broke many barriers to access to quality mental healthcare. Telehealth expanded our practice globally to reach more needy populations. However, our virtual existence comes with challenges.
At UB Joyous, we must aggressively market our services, acquire the necessary funding to cover our operational costs and provide pro bono coaching and counseling to underprivileged populations. For instance, we rely on Facebook ads and sales funnels to convert leads into paying clients. Additionally, we must write blogs to attract clients. My expertise in a wide variety of software and Internet technologies – Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Access; Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and In Design; and various social media and crowd-funding channels – has been of great help to us in these areas in marketing.
As novices in the independent mental health services industry, it has been challenging to make UB Joyous stand out among our established competitors. This is largely because it is challenging to attract traffic to our website, given our lower ranking on Google Analytics than our competitors. A startup like ours requires considerable investment and marketing, including paid advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). Nevertheless, we continue to work out strategies in these areas, which is greatly helped by my data analysis expertise, with which I review financial statements and analyze sales earnings, costs, and expenses to maximize revenue and minimize overhead as best as possible.
UB Joyous startup has provided many opportunities to reach out to the needy. Due to social media, we can improve our online presence and reach a larger audience. We have an online platform to discuss relevant topics, which we hope will raise awareness of the worldwide prevalence of mental illness and depression as causes of substance abuse and crime globally. We also hope our platform will emphasize the importance of properly treating these conditions so recidivism can be reduced worldwide and victims can lead happier, more fulfilling lives.
There is a possibility to scale the business, get financial freedom and independence and improve quality of life. Overall, online coaching and counseling services opportunities appear positive for us. Through hard work and dedication, it is possible to build a profitable business in this field.