Startups Blog

Digital Mental Health Startups Aim to Stem the Tide

Today’s uncertain times appear to be affecting the mental health of millions across the world. Polls appear to show that more than 50% of US citizens are struggling with life, thoughts, and feelings. That, at least, is one reason why digital mental health startups are seeing a huge uptake. Let’s look at this in closer detail.

mental health startups

Supply and Demand

Year on year, the demand for mental health support at home is on the increase. Some US outreach hotlines are experiencing up to a 1000% increase in calls based on figures from April 2019 to April 2020. Therefore, the need for digital, or at least accessible mental health support, has never been greater.

Funding increases in mental health technology are taking place. Looking at the UK, the equivalent of $459,000 found its way to top mental health startups in 2014. In 2019, this skyrocketed to around $27.5 million. Globally, we may be looking at as much as $762 million.

Digital mental health ventures occupy multiple different platforms and spaces to cater to demand. For example, some offer workshops, such as EduPsych, while others, such as Mind.Fit and the hugely popular Headspace app, provide meditative resources. 

Crucially, the growth of app culture and online anonymity, some believe, is helping to make online mental health resources more accessible.

How Startups are Growing – and Evolving

Of course, there needs to be innovation in the sphere, too. There are multiple apps and services which allow users to access counseling through SMS or video call.

One of the most significant innovations is rooted in a demographic approach. Paul Miller, CEO of Bethnal Green Ventures, UK, states that many mental health ventures approach his firm specifically with appealing to children and teenagers.

This is hardly a niche approach, though it’s rooted in science. It’s thought that around 75% of people who struggle with mental health likely need support before they reach adulthood. Therefore, there is an evident need for ventures to present practical, appealing apps to young people. At present, of course, these users occupy Generation Z as a demo.

International digital mental health ventures, such as Trijog, are pivoting through omnichannel. Following recent global uncertainty, the company spent up to a month re-aligning itself for an online approach. Previously, Trijog had supported a system whereby users could arrange offline counseling and consultations.

Demand, as stated, is growing. That is clearly why investments are up – and at the same time, digital mental health practitioners are constantly re-inventing the wheel to make mental health consultation more appealing and accessible to all.

The Future of Mental Health Support

The growth of digital mental health guidance has been swift, but clearly signposted. Mental health, in general, is no longer taboo – and with app development ever-growing, it’s no surprise that startups are finding more and more funding resources.

Startups specializing in digital mental health may find networking opportunities through databases such as Fundz. Investors, too, may be able to find the next big disrupters in mental health support and guidance through these listings.

 

SOURCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/04/mental-health-coronavirus/

https://inc42.com/features/mental-health-startups-on-unlocking-the-business-of-the-mind-in-a-crisis/

https://inc42.com/startups/mental-wellness-startup-trijog-banks-on-omnichannel-as-other-mental-health-startups-go-virtual/

https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/cb-insights-names-150-digital-health-startups-2020s-industry-frontrunners

https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/hazards-digital-mental-health

https://www.pioneerspost.com/news-views/20200821/mental-wellbeing-the-many-not-the-few-are-apps-the-cure-the-next-generation