Twin brothers Ian and Julian Fagan started Skodel, which is valued at $7.9 million, after dealing with mental health issues themselves while at school.

“I actually spent a bit of time out of high school because of mental illness and Julian obviously being my twin brother, we have a pretty unique bond and a really close bond as well and so he was a primary supporter for me during that time,” Ian Fagan said.

The 28 year olds knew increasing numbers of young people were struggling with mental illness and looked at what schools were offering to manage student wellbeing.

“In a typical school day you’re not really as a young person given an opportunity where you would feel engaged, comfortable and safe enough to actually let someone know that you’re struggling, or how you’re feeling,” Ian Fagan said.

Julian Fagan said the coronavirus pandemic had “sharpened the focus for schools” on mental health making it a higher priority.

“What it’s really doing is it’s shifting the conversation you have in school communities right now,” he said.

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The pair will use the funds raised to expand their product offering including resources to assist students and teachers informed by the data collected.

Investors have been attracted by both Skodel’s business model and the social impact the startup could have.

“In many ways, the world today is a much more complicated place to be a young person,” Mr Waislitz, chairman of Thorney Investments said.



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