Dr. Ummul-Kiram Kathawalla is the writer for this article. She advises Anise’s clinical and scientific research programs, as well as community outreach efforts to diverse Asian communities. Dr. Kathawalla is a licensed psychologist and Postdoctoral Research Associate at Boston University. Her research focuses on the impact of discrimination, life stress, and the sociocultural context on identity development and well-being in marginalized communities. Throughout her clinical training at various hospitals in Minnesota and Massachusetts, she has developed an expertise in offering evidence-based, culturally sensitive interventions to marginalized communities to support individuals to foster personal growth and live life according to one’s values.
Anise Health is the first digital mental health platform that incorporates culture and intersectionality into clinician training and evidence-based treatments (therapy, coaching, and self-guided content). Founded by Alice Zhang and Nisha Desai are two Harvard Business School alums working hard to destigmatize and expand effective mental health care for the Asian American community. Since launching in California in June 2022, Anise clients have seen clinically significant improvements in anxiety, depression, and stress levels by week 8 of treatment and 96% say they felt very "heard and understood" by their providers, highlighting the need for a change from the one-size-fits-all standard of care that dominates the industry today.