Friday, Dec 22, 2023 | 12:00 AM ET

S4 E19: Accelerating Change in Mental Health

How important is the role of social determinants of health in the context of mental healthcare, particularly for children and adolescents?

In this episode, Saul interviews Malekeh Amini, Founder & CEO at Trayt.Health and Roshni Koli, Chief Medical Officer Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, share their personal journeys and insights into the future of mental healthcare, shedding light on the crucial role of social determinants of health, the impact of data in mental healthcare delivery, and the need for policy changes to drive equitable access and early intervention. Malekeh Amini and Dr. Roshni Kohli emphasized the importance of understanding an individual's environment, recognizing that factors such as trauma, family support, and childhood experiences greatly influence mental health symptoms and treatment outcomes. Both guests highlight the need for comprehensive data collection and analytics in mental health, emphasizing the role of technology and AI as tools to empower clinicians and provide better, more informed care for patients. Dr. Roshni Kohli and Malekeh Amini underscore the necessity for policymakers to focus on standardization, consistency, and equitable access to mental healthcare. 

Tune in for a compelling and insightful discussion that offers practical advice and calls to action in mental healthcare.

About Malekeh Amini:

Malekeh Amini is the Founder and CEO of Trayt, a healthcare software company dedicated to improving diagnosis and treatments in brain-based disorders, including Autism, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, substance use, and Alzheimer's, among others. Prior to Trayt, Malekeh was the Senior Vice President of Products & Business Development at Base Health where she provided the vision connecting new breakthroughs in medical science to the needs of healthcare organizations and consumers. A former consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and the Parthenon Group, Malekeh has provided strategic, operational, and fundraising advice to healthcare and education organizations globally. Malekeh served on the fundraising Board of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Wings Learning Center in Redwood City. Malekeh has an M.B.A. from Harvard University. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in Communication Sciences (Cognitive Science) and computer science and her master’s in Systems Engineering at the University of Southern California.

About Roshni Koli:

Roshni is a board-certified adult and child and adolescent psychiatrist and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. Prior to joining the Meadows Institute, she served as the inaugural medical director of the pediatric mental health service line for Dell Children’s Medical Center. Over the course of four years, she led the creation of the only service line within a children’s hospital in the state of Texas to provide an entire continuum of pediatric mental health care, including a 24-bed inpatient unit, a newly developed Partial Hospitalization Program, Intensive Outpatient Program, a comprehensive Consultation-Liaison Service, general outpatient and embedded behavioral health specialty clinics.

In her role at the Institute, Roshni serves as our top decision-maker on all things medical. She anchors the executive team’s activities in contemporary, innovative, and evidence-based medical knowledge, with a special emphasis on children, youth, and families. Roshni oversees all medically-focused policy and practice guidance developed at the Institute, working closely with physicians and other clinicians across the organization. She brings decades of practical experience and deep caring for people and families affected by mental illness to help us always put people first as we pursue our mission and vision.

Prior to moving to Austin, Roshni served as the co-section Chief and medical director of Kapiolan’i Behavioral Health Services, where she supervised a team of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and a psychiatric nurse practitioner in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Recognizing the workforce shortage in child and adolescent psychiatry, she has served as an educator and mentor for medical students, psychiatry residents, pediatric residents, and child and adolescent psychiatry fellows. In Hawai’i, she served as the Director of Medical Education and Patient Care for Kapiolan’i Medical Center for Women and Children.

Roshni’s passion is focused on the development of collaborative relationships with primary care and specialty care colleagues to comprehensively address the mental and behavioral health needs of children and adults. In partnership with behavioral health and primary care colleagues, she created innovative strategies to address the mental health crisis. Throughout her 15-year career in psychiatry, she has strived to achieve a goal of reducing stigma of mental health, increasing access to mental health care, and striving to ensure that there is no difference between physical and mental health care for all children.

Roshni earned her medical degree at St. George’s University School of Medicine and completed her general psychiatry residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She completed her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Lurie Children’s Hospital/ Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Social determinants of health are crucial in influencing better quality and better outcomes of healthcare. 
  • The impact of non-medical drivers of health, such as food insecurity, transportation, housing, and unemployment, cannot be overlooked.
  • Data and analytics are transforming mental healthcare. 
  • It's not just about collecting data but structuring it in the right way and using analytics to create actionable insights for decision-makers.
  • Policy improvements are needed for equitable access to mental healthcare. Early intervention, early diagnosis, and prevention are vital to changing the trajectory of a child's life and the future of our communities.



Roshni Koli, MDChief Medical Officer, Meadows Institute

Malekeh AminiFounder & CEO, Trayt Health

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