The Top Startups Addressing Mental Health in 2020
The dissipating stigma that once surrounded mental health is now paving the way for an influx of creative ideas, new businesses and top talent in the space.
Previous negative connotations surrounding mental health and a lack of access to care forced many individuals to suffer in silence.
Recently, the mental health field has become extremely profitable and is implementing more advanced technology after breaking into the mainstream. Driven in part by the wellness boom and a large number of new health technology startups, the market for behavioral and mental health software is expected to reach $4.77B by 2026.
Mental health issues like depression, anxiety, social isolation, loneliness and addiction impact almost every human on the planet:
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
- 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6 to 17 experiences a mental health disorder each year
- 300 million people globally suffer from depression and anxiety annually according to the World Health Organization
- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 34
Here are five startups who are making it easier to receive mental health care:
App for Mental Fitness
Over 1 million people call in sick everyday due to work related stress. In addition, the world pandemic has introduced new work related stressors over the past three months. As people continue to combat the pandemic, it is important they also address and serve their individual mental health needs to improve work success both individually and for the company.
Calm designed an app that targets relieving work related stress for individuals in the workforce. The app operates an online portal which allows busy and information loaded web workers to reduce stress and works to bring the benefits of meditation to the busy world. Calm provides mental health resources to help improve sleep, reduce stress, and build resilience to increase focus and creativity for the mind and relax the body.
Online Behavioral Health Assessments
Parents of children with autism or other emotional, developmental, or behavioral health issues are vulnerable during times of transition. Earlier this spring, families were thrust into a whole new world, and had to create a therapeutic, educational, and nurturing environment for their kids with little notice or preparation.
Throughout the country, there is an extreme shortage of developmental pediatricians and other diagnostic providers such as psychologists and psychiatrists. Particularly in ‘healthcare desserts,’ rural areas, and the frontier, families often have to drive long distances, even staying overnight in hotels, to access a diagnostic or behavioral health clinician.
With CLEAR, providers can conduct on-line assessments and consultations using technologies like: WordPress, DocuSign, Authorize.net, Zoom, SendGrid, and Calendly. Their proprietary digital platform for diagnostic assessment called CADE also allows clinicians to summarize all of the data collected during an evaluation into a concise, clear, and digestible format for families.
Online Platform to Enhance Care Experience
In order to succeed as a company, organizations must address and support the mental health needs of their employees. With millions suffering from mental health issues, it can cost companies millions in lost productivity, absenteeism, turnover, and wasted health spend. In addition, mental health care can be difficult to access and ineffective if not approached adequately.
Lyra works to create the best mental health care for individuals and the overall workforce by providing access through their platform to personalized mental health providers and effective treatments. Using technology and data, Lyra connects companies and their employees to mental health care providers and treatments based on their specific needs.
Digital Mental Health Coaching
SoleLife is looking beyond the novel Coronavirus pandemic to help prepare the world for what is predicted to come next – a mental health pandemic. Now more than ever, people need support – coaching can help people feel more resilient, happier, have hope, avoid depression, and create a road map to navigate through challenges and contribute to overcoming the Coronavirus crisis.
The SoleLife platform officially launched on May 1st and enables real-time tele-coach communications, behavioral diagnostics (AI powered assessments), workflow automation for coaches, and expanded capacity for consumers. Their technology platform gives people one-click access to professional coaches that can help, while also enabling coaches to reach clients and deliver results.
Sleep Health Kits
Sleep is essential to mental health. Somni designed sleep health kits to help improve sleeping conditions and sleep hygiene. Each sleep health kit contains a portable white noise machine, liquid melatonin, organic caffeine-free tea, nasal strips, lavender aromatherapy, high-quality earplugs, and a silk eye mask.
Providers are faced with overnight shift work that can cause negative disruptions to metabolic, hormonal, and mental health. In the short-term, shift work leads to an array of jet-lag-like symptoms which affect cognitive performance, alertness and decision making. To combat increased shift work of medical personnel and support staff during the COVID-19 outbreak, Somni is offering 40% off their sleep health kits, coaching and sleep health program. In addition, coaching and sleep health programs are also available to support medical personnel so that they get better sleep during this time.
Innovation Breaks Down Barriers, You Can Too
Mental health is something that should never be ignored, especially in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic like we are in today. When barriers such as location, cost and even embarrassment get in the way of someone seeking mental health help, innovations like the ones highlighted above can be a great solution for someone in need of addressing mental health issues.