The 2020 Class of 30 in Their Thirties dug deep for an extra measure of fortitude to meet the outbreak of COVID-19 and, along the way, developed new products and services, sought out cutting-edge business models, and pivoted into uncharted waters. Check out Dr. Anton Babushkin’s feature below!
Life can be stressful enough as it is. Then COVID-19 arrived on the scene in March, which explains why Dr. Anton Babushkin is an exceptionally busy man these days. “Yes, there’s certainly been a lot more calls,” Babushkin says. “I don’t know if it’s the pandemic or good marketing or word of mouth, maybe all the above, but people are stressed and they’re looking for help.” Babushkin, a psychoanalyst with a Ph.D. in clinical social work, is founder and CEO of Start My Wellness, a diverse collection of therapists who provide support for individuals, couples, and families, as well as a critical, previously overlooked segment of the population: employees. “We specialize in employee wellness, and the best thing for us is that more companies are recognizing the need for helping their employees more in this kind of way,” he says. For so long, the topic of mental health could be a source of shame. Not anymore. “The reality is mental health is part of everybody’s life,” Babushkin says. “It’s a matter of are you able to take care of things on your own, or do you want some help?” Although Start My Wellness offers traditional, in-person sessions for employees at their office, online sessions are far more popular. “It’s like 95 percent of what we do,” Babushkin says of virtual communication, adding that he’s eager to expand his business model far beyond Michigan. “I’m working on a directory of clinics and therapists nationwide who are able and willing to provide this kind of emotional health care to employees,” he says. “We’re going to build out a national network of these providers that employers can find and source through our directory, so employers can come to us and find out who’s really good in New York or California, and we can help them find those providers. Basically, Babushkin concludes, “it’s going to be like Airbnb, except instead of rooms we’re going to have high-quality providers and guide more people to the help they need.” — Tom Murray