The story behind the startup WellStory is personal for founder Barrett Merrill.
Like an estimated 40 million Americans, Merrill started exploring therapy in 2019. While he said the process was “incredibly impactful” for him, something big was getting in the way: Seemingly endless paperwork.
“Something that I felt was challenging early on as a client was figuring out how to process, embody, and apply the contents of my weekly therapy sessions in my daily life. I had paper worksheets, notes on my phone, long text and email threads, multiple different consumer apps, and a running spreadsheet of core memories. It was very disorganized, my therapist couldn’t see any of my activity between sessions, and I felt minimal (if any) support and guidance when I went home,” Merrill told Hypepotamus.
Merrill got the idea for WellStory Health, a therapy homework and treatment planning platform, in 2021. Since then, he’s been talking to hundreds of therapists to better understand their day-to-day challenges. The platform officially launched last week with its first set of therapists.
He told Hypepotamus that WellStory is “more comprehensive in services than a typical consumer app; therapist-interfacing and HIPAA compliant (ie B2B instead of the more saturated B2C space); and a tool that offered treatment and activity plans, reminders, and the ability to track progress over time.”
WellStory Health’s early target customers are outpatient mental health therapists, counselors, and life coaches, Barrett told Hypepotamus.
“Most of our core features have been generally in our feature roadmap since the first day, but we’ve refined and reprioritized many of them per the expressed desire and felt “pain” we’ve seen in the industry. The biggest evolution of our platform has been centering everything around our “Activity Planner” tool, which functions as the intersection of all other features, the driver of client engagement, and the time saving automation for clinical treatment planning,” added Merrill.
Southeast Mental Health Tech
WellStory Health got off the ground in Birmingham before Merrill relocated to his hometown of Atlanta.
He shouted out Birmingham’s “thriving and tight-knit circle of tech founders,” Alabama Launchpad, and the Innovation Depot as helpful parts of getting the company off the ground.
WellStory is one of several regional startups building in the red hot Mental Health Tech vertical. Though VC funding into the space is down from its high of $5.5 billion in 2021, both B2B and B2C sides of Mental Health Tech since the pandemic. You can check out our latest feature on who you should know in the space in our May 2023 article on mental health tech leaders.