Mental health brands and platforms are harnessing technology and digital spaces to make quality care, support and resources more accessible.
While the past few years have given rise to telehealth platforms like Hims & Hers, they have also instilled a demand for mental health resources. According to a survey by Verywell Mind, eight out of 10 consumers said therapy was a good investment, but 40 percent said they needed financial support to attend.
With treatment rates ranging from $60 to $250 an hour or more and insurance not covering the full costs, mental health care may be inaccessible to many. In an effort to meet these persistent needs, a large number of applications have been launched with the aim of providing complementary care to conventional treatment.
According to Grand View Research, the pandemic has expanded the global mental health apps market, increasing by 54.6 percent between 2019 and 2021, and estimated to be worth $5.2 billion in 2022. The expansion is expected to continue at 20 to 22 percent annually . year growth in the next five years. This is supported by consumer use; According to a survey by McKinsey & Company, 64 percent of consumers use a wellness app daily. McKinsey & Company also positions this category as a key opportunity for companies to invest in employee wellbeing by offering discounted access to apps as part of their benefits.
The apps are “a great addition for people who are in therapy. Those who are not in therapy, they are still purposeful.” Alyssa Mankaw, a licensed clinical social worker in Los Angeles, said. While these platforms can be helpful, they have emphasized These options are not equivalent to individual therapy or group therapy.
Headspace, founded in 2010, was an early adopter of the digital mindspace and remains a popular choice within the category with a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on the Apple App Store. Through its direct-to-consumer and business-to-business models, the platform reaches 100 million people.
Headspace provides daily mindfulness exercises and guided meditations for ongoing mental care. The main draw for users to try Headspace is convenience. Through the application, the user can carry out a daily practice that takes only a few minutes. Mankaw said that this kind of everyday use can help people hold themselves accountable.
In an effort to create a more comprehensive mental health offering, Headspace acquired telemental health company Ginger in 2021, which provides text-based conversations, self-guided activities, and video-based therapy.
“What we realized when talking to our members was that they were using a wide range of mental health services in order to achieve their desired results,” said Leslie Witt, Chief Design Officer at Headspace. “Part of our acknowledgment was to say we could do a better job if we formally brought these systems together, so that the dimension of personal care that we provide through the app really works in tandem with the personal care that a human care provider is able to bring.”
Real, founded by Ariella Savera, was launched with the goal of providing affordable and accessible mental healthcare to everyone. Safira aims to create a platform that reaches consumers wherever they are and promotes mental health services so that people don’t just seek help when they are in crisis.
Real features guided check-ins to track a user’s journey, events led by a virtual therapist, live group therapy sessions and interactive mental health programs called Trails. The ability to remain anonymous in group sessions on Real seduces many users, who may be more comfortable sharing something in this environment than they would in individual therapy, according to Safira.
“When I think about the world in 10 years, mental health care in 2032 will look more like fitness in 2022. What I mean by that is the only form of mental health care we have now is basically individual therapy, and that would be analogous to a world where the only form of fitness is training.” Personal Individual.. However, this is not the case, as today’s fitness scene includes a whole ecosystem of digital and in-person offerings.”When I think of Real, it’s dedicated first and foremost to building that whole ecosystem,” Safira continued.
To harness the beneficial impact of creativity on overall well-being, mental health advocate J Balvin launched Oye, a bilingual health app developed specifically to empower the Latinx community. The platform has a range of features including emotional check-ins, creative wellness videos, goal setting, generative art, informative notifications, and personalized content based on the user’s current mood.
“We did this as a way to create a community that feels more open to the search for a better quality of life,” Palvin said. The app is very focused on creativity with guided dances and meditations, as Balvin builds on the concept of turning emotions into creative actions.
J Balvin isn’t the only famous person involved in space. Megan Thee Stallion launched a mental health website called Bad Bitches Have Bad Days Too, which offers a slew of resources, hotlines, therapy platforms, and supportive content.
Selena Gomez brought Wondermind to the market in April 2022, along with Mandy Teefey and The Newsette founder Daniela Pearson. Wondermind is referred to by the brand as “the world’s first mental health ecosystem,” because it provides content, resources, and a newsletter three times a week to readers. With over 270,000 active newsletter subscribers, the platform has secured a $5 million Series A fund led by Serena Williams’ startup Serena Ventures in August 2022.
Similar to Wondermind, Amy Keller Laird, former editor-in-chief of Women’s Health, also took a website approach with Mental, launching in October 2022. Keller Laird began considering the opportunity in the space in 2016 when Women’s Health did a feature on 14 The women, who each discussed their mental illnesses. Then and again years later, I felt there was a white space when it came to a lifestyle-focused informational site aimed at those with mental health conditions.
Keeler Laird noted that when someone has a mental disorder “it doesn’t mean that they’re not interested in beauty or fashion or other hobbies or that they’re not musical. They’re complete human beings, they date, they have relationships and they have kids.”
In mindset, readers can categorize content based on specific conditions such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, and trichotillomania, a disorder in which one causes one to pull one’s hair. Or they can browse through different verticals like beauty and good buys, knowing that the content will focus on mental health and be validated by the source.
Silk + Sonder, founded by Meha Agrawal in 2017, combines the physical and the digital for a holistic approach to mental health with its daily guided offerings. The app includes personalized daily prompts, guided audio modules, affirmations and weekly planning sessions, where users can interact with each other, resulting in “peer-to-peer support and accountability,” according to Agrawal. She also noted that the app is “a huge driver of our user retention”.