Mental health initial focus of innovative software
In memory of his son whose suicide was caused by depression and addiction, Judge Henry Koltys has founded the Global Knowledge Fund, an app whose mission is “to identify, capture and share valuable knowledge and wisdom to create systemic, positive change that benefits society, humanity and the environment.”
“Drew had everything going for him when he committed suicide in 2014 at the age of 27. He had an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston. Unfortunately, he inherited his mother’s mental problems, but I didn’t recognize the signs soon enough,” Judge Koltys said. “When he was 11, he was always very tired and couldn’t get out of bed.
“His mother was in bed from 1991 to 1997. My ex-wife was misdiagnosed for four years as many people are. I didn’t know that extreme fatigue can trigger depression,” said the judge, who moved to Montecito in 2015 when he was appointed the U.S. administrative law judge for the Social Security Administration.
Because of his son’s untimely death, the initial focus of the Global Knowledge Fund will be on mental health issues such as depression, addiction, anxiety, PTSD and suicide risk.
Leading experts in the mental health field will develop the analysis, diagnosis, treatment and referral system within the app so that those in need will receive timely and appropriate support.
“My focus now is to locate experts in the field and get the word out to people with vision. There are a lot of moving parts. There is a lot of work to be done to take away the negative aspects of mental health and increase understanding. Harry and Meghan are increasing the visibility and dealing with the stigma. Mental problems are tricky, unlike physical problems,” said Judge Koltys, a native of Detroit who earned his juris doctor degree in 1978 from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich.
Before his current appointment, he practiced employment discrimination law as a judge, trial attorney and appellate attorney with the U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission and as an assistant attorney general in Vermont. He was also a child custody and divorce mediator and an attorney in corporate and private practice.
While litigating class actions as a federal trial attorney, Judge Koltys realized that intelligent software could help non-experts make expert decisions in law and knowledge domains.
He resigned his appointment to create artificial intelligence software applications (apps) and systems (tools) to create apps.
‘Tools are used by programmers to extract and model an expert’s knowledge and decision-making process, which are placed into a software ‘knowledge’ base.’ “ he explained. “An app to gather facts accesses the knowledge base and provides expert decisions, advice and guidance to the non-expert. Continued use of the app enables non-experts to assimilate the knowledge so that over time they can make expert decisions with less reliance upon the app.”
In the future, Judge Koltys plans to have the GFK include civil rights (disability, gender equality, housing, immigration, etc.); environment (air, climate, land and water); health (food/nutrition, healthcare, mental and physical); human rights (mass shootings, police violence, refugees/migrants, sex trafficking and women’s rights); and legal (criminal justice reform, custody/dependency and judicial reform).
“There will be experts in different domains of knowledge contributing their expertise and wisdom to the software for the average person to access free of charge,” he said. “The software applications will revolutionize the delivery of these services.”