The healthcare landscape has changed dramatically since the US first designated May as Mental Health Awareness Month back in the 1940s. At the time, the goal was to drive general awareness of mental wellness and celebrate recovery from mental illness.
In part, that was helped out by the rise of consumer-based therapy apps like BetterHelp, TalkSpace, and Cerebral. But B2B-focused Mental Health Tech platforms, like Proem Health, are also changing the game.
“What we have found is that things like behavioral health integration are starting to happen, where primary care is putting behavioral health resources within a practice so that they can properly triage people that would otherwise wind up in the emergency department,” Letter told Hypepotamus.
That is particularly important, given that it takes an average of 11 years for a person to get mental health treatment after the onset of symptoms while 47% of Americans live in an area with a mental health professional shortage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Proem Health, previously known as nView Health, launched in 2017 and rebranded last year as a “workflow process model” for those who are often on the frontlines of the mental health crisis in this country – pediatricians, those at substance abuse clinics, and behavioral health providers. From a practical perspective, Proem Health integrates into an EHR (electronic health record) or EMR (electronic medical record). Through structured interviews and robust data collection, the startup helps healthcare providers give “consistent care” to patients.
“From our perspective, the idea that digital health can take the place of a practitioner is just flat wrong. It is technology that enables [clinicians] to be more comprehensive and accurate so that a patient doesn’t have to wait 11 years to be diagnosed properly,” Letter added.
VCs & Mental Health Tech
Proem Health is one of several VC-backed startups in the region focused on the mental health space. Here are a few of the ventures you should know about:
- Proem Behavioral Health (Atlanta) – A clinical workflow software engine that helps providers triage patients and produce better mental health outcomes. It is backed by BIP Capital and has raised $7.9 million to date, according to Crunchbase. Previous Hypepotamus coverage of Proem Health (previously nView Health) can be found here.
- Reframe (Atlanta): A consumer app designed to help people develop healthier habits around alcohol consumption. Backed by Atlanta Ventures, Goodwater Capital, Y Combinator, and other individual investors, the startup has raised $27.4 million to date. Previous Hypepotamus coverage of Reframe is here.
- Psych Hub (Nashville): A mental health education platform. Backed by Frist Cressey Ventures in Nashville, HC9 Ventures, and others, the startup has raised $16 million to date, according to Crunchbase.
- LunaJoy (Tampa): A platform to help women access virtual therapy, counseling, and medication management services. Backed by Goodwater Capital, Asymmetry Ventures, Y Combinator, and MAGIC Fund, LunaJoy has raised $2.4 million to date. Previous Hypepotamus coverage on the startup can be seen here.
Who To Keep An Eye On
The pandemic put even more of a spotlight on the global mental health crisis. That has put even more of a focus on the Southeast’s startup community focused on mental health and wellbeing.
Earlier this month, two of those startups took home prizes at the 20th Startup Runway a Showcase, an event designed to connect startups led by underrepresented founders to investors, showcasing the increased momentum surrounding the space.
Mind HAC, a North Carolina-based startup run by Shaun Andrews, offers culturally-specific mental health services. The startup took home the Judges Award sponsored by Cox Enterprises at the showcase last month. Lavni, another North Carolina-based company, won the Women’s Empowerment Grant to help expand its equitable and accessible mental healthcare services to underserved communities.