Maintaining a healthy mental state was paramount for many people during the global pandemic. According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11.2% of US adults aged 18 and older report regular feelings of worry, nervousness, or anxiety. Just in time for Mental Health Awareness Month in the US, startup company MentalHappy announced a $1.1 million seed round for its social network business designed to bolster mental health through positive peer support groups. The funding round for the mental healthcare startup business was spearheaded by lead investor Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures.
"MentalHappy has created a fully accessible and easy-to-use resource for mental health services in a safe, digital space," said Craig Schedler, managing director at Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures. "We're excited to partner with Tamar and her team, who are making a significant impact to connect and support people of all demographics through their platform by improving emotional wellbeing through peer support."
Joining Northwestern Mutual Future in the financing round for the startup digital healthcare company were investors Social Impact Capital, Chai Angels, and Peter Reinhardt, the founder and CEO of customer data company Segment.io. The capital generated from the recent round of investor support for MentalHappy will help the healthcare startup expand the number of peer support groups available through its online mental health platform.
Expert-Led Mental Health Support Groups
Founded in 2016 by entrepreneurs Tamar Blue and Kwame Ampem, the YCombinator-backed startup business aims to tackle mental health by providing a social platform that teaches users how to handle stress and take on life’s challenges in a positive manner.
MentalHappy support groups cover a wide range of specific mental challenges, from losing a loved one to coping with a divorce or breakup. Using the social network designed by the startup healthcare business, users can seek advice and encouragement from other members with similar experiences in their specific support group.
The digital healthcare startup company also allows medical professionals to apply to the business and become group leaders of support groups on the social platform. Accepted applicants facilitate group discussions and promote positive dialogue in peer sessions, in addition to setting the pricing requirement, if any, for their group. The startup business charges a small service fee for using its platform, and the company also generates revenue from a premium subscription option.
"I'm so happy to be partnering with Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures," said Blue. "They are a fund that recognizes the value and importance of supporting innovators and changemakers of color who are working to solve significant challenges within communities. Northwestern Mutual is being very intentional when it comes to expanding opportunities and my team and I are honored to have them as part of the MentalHappy family."
Entering the Behavioral Health Software Industry
MentalHappy is not the only startup company reinventing the mental healthcare industry. Startup healthcare company Talkspace disrupted the market by providing digital therapy sessions with licensed professionals through its own online platform. Market research projects the global behavioral health software market to reach $2.31 billion by 2022.
James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a B.S. in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.