We had the good fortune of connecting with Jonah Salita and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jonah, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Diall started with a phone call discussing racial tensions in the U.S. We realized that as helpful as it was to see mental health and alternative to 911 resources flooding social media, the reality was that if you needed help, social media would not be the first place you would go to look for it, nor would it have the technology that would allow you to access those resources in an easy way.
We realized that there was no other technology solving this problem. When thinking about what new technology could address this, we knew that resources needed to be easier than dialing 9–1–1 and truly inclusive of everyone. If this could be achieved, people would feel uplifted to seek support, get help and stay safe.
For too long, people have thought that they don’t need to work on their mental health unless they are diagnosed with a mental illness. This is perpetuated by emergency services that connect callers to dispatchers rather than mental health professionals. Simply put, accessing mental health care is currently an obstacle course.
Our app helps users build community, proactively learn from evidence-based resources and get specialized crisis support in less time than it takes to call 911, all at no cost.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I was born and raised in Minnesota and played collegiate tennis in upstate NY, while studying Economics and Advertising.
When I was 10 years old, my loving mother called me a renaissance man and I’ve been problem solving, creating, using big words, avoiding frigid weather and trying to live up to that title ever since.
I stumbled into the creative world after designing my own tennis apparel brand because I was too small to fit into the “cool” looking adult clothes.
Since then, I have worked across the world in various advertising agencies, with nationally renowned clients like Arby’s and have also founded my own specialized creative agency, Vasco Creative, that focuses on creative direction, strategy, digital marketing and content creation.
In addition to my time in the United States, I’ve been fortunate enough to live and work in Hong Kong, London and Lisbon.
Before moving to Hong Kong, I was awarded a SIIF Grant for photography. Throughout my stay, I enjoyed the privilege of candidly documenting the wisest looking Fu Tei residents my camera could find. I exhibited the resulting collection of photographs in the Solarium Gallery, NY upon my return.
I then moved to London to work as the creative director for Learn To Trade, where I spearheaded global creative strategy for their worldwide community of over 300,000 delegates in the UK, AU, PH and ZA.
After leaving London, I returned to the US and immediately went to work with my friend and now co-founder Marcel Johnson, to work on Diall, a mental health application that was born in response to the racial injustice following the events of George Floyd’s death.
As a dual citizen between the US and Portugal, i’ve been enjoying my time living in Lisbon, while working remotely on our upcoming product launch!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles truly has some of the most wonderful sights to see. I would start by enjoying the Brentwood farmers market, popping over to Tartine in Santa Monica for a delicious breakfast. I would then take a beautiful drive down the PCH before stopping in Malibu for a picnic and lunch at the Country Mart. After a delicious sandwich, i would go on a breathtaking hike near Griffith Park and cool down with a nice walk through West Hollywood. In the evening, i would return to Will Rogers State Park and enjoy the sunset before going back to Santa Monica/Venice area for an italian dinner at Felix!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Diall would not be what it is without the unconditional support of my co-founder, Marcel Johnson, as well as my loving family and wonderful girlfriend, Annie. They are my foundation and I am extremely grateful to be surrounded by them.
Other: Tik Tok: @jonahsalita
Illustration by: Sabah Shams (Lead Illustrator for Diall) Product screenshots by our team.