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San Mateo teen uses AI to develop website connecting people to mental health service

Peninsula teen uses AI to help people find mental health services
Peninsula teen uses AI to help people find mental health services 03:05

A high school junior from San Mateo has created a platform she created to help people of all ages access mental health resources powered by artificial intelligence 

She is hoping to spread the word about the website during May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month

The goal of the website -- -- is to make the process of finding help less overwhelming when people need the support the most. It's a challenge she knows first-hand from losing a loved one when she was only a student in middle school. 

"I really want to make it a lot easier and faster for people to get that critical help that they might need," said 17-year-old website creator Charlotte Rosario. "My dad actually passed away by suicide when I was just 12 years old. And through that experience, I really had to learn how to heal and move forward by actually leaning into mental health advocacy."

The platform can be accessed by computer or on a mobile device and uses artificial intelligence to find mental health services within the county a user selects in California. The more information someone can enter into the application, the more refined the results will be to appropriate resources. 

Rosario came up with the idea while working as a youth council member for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She saw how many resources there are, but also how challenging it could be for someone to look through all of it at once. She believes there needs to be more awareness and education on those services as well. 

"Now, you know, building SearchMentalHealth, seeing how many resources and services are available in our San Francisco Bay Area and across California and beyond, I'm ultimately just really hopeful, because I know that there are ways that people can get the support that they need," she said. 

As part of her journey mourning the loss of her father and working with other families, Rosario met the mother of a classmate who died by suicide. She said that parent gave her a 10-page document in Spanish explaining the challenges she faced trying to get mental health support. 

Rosario uses that document as a guide to improve SearchMentalHealth on a regular basis. She also wants to make the platform available to non-English speakers as well. 

"I remember seeing a girl in the mirror who is scared, ashamed, confused, and lost," Rosario said about the time immediately after her father's death. "I always think about my dad and all the people that I've met in my community over the years who I know have struggled with their mental health challenges or suicide loss. And I keep their stories in mind, because that's really what drives these projects and what has driven SearchMentalHealth."

The pandemic had just started and Rosario was in 7th grade when she lost her father. She understood then how difficult it can be for young people to ask for help. Not only are there barriers around the stigma, but for many the thought of calling someone for help is also intimidating. Rosario says we all must talk more about mental health and she hopes the platform can assist those beginning the journey to find services. 

"I think always trying to be open with each other and actively support one another," she said about the way we all can help improve everyone's mental health. 

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