An article recently written by the Guardian suggests that the UK might be facing a second pandemic, this time of mental health issues.
The Covid crisis has sparked a dramatic rise in the numbers of people experiencing mental health problems, with 1.6 million people waiting for specialised treatment and another 8 million who cannot get on the waiting list but would benefit from support, the heads of the NHS Confederation and the Royal College of Psychiatrists told the Guardian.
But the mental health crisis is not novel to the UK, and there are global innovation efforts being implemented to help relieve the strain on healthcare provides.
For example, Atommerce, a Korean startup that helps users connect with mental health professionals via mobile app MiNDCAFE, plans to scale its mental health service with a $16.7 million Series B funding, which was three times oversubscribed within two months.
With the recent funding, Atommerce plans to utilise artificial intelligence and machine learning technology for its platform and invest in digital therapeutics specialised in mental illness. In addition, the proceeds will be used to increase its headcount.
Another example is HealthRhythms, a five-year-old startup partnering with UCHealth in Colorado to scale its artificial-intelligence-based digital platform to millions of patients. Along with its partnership with UCHealth, HealthRhythms announced the close of a highly oversubscribed $11 million seed round led by GSR Ventures and investor Brook Byers, founding member of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Within healthcare, we have seen an increasing focus on mental health and wellbeing, especially in the workplace. Throughout the pandemic, we saw a lot of employers provide well being efforts into the workforce to help battle burnout and attract new employees; something we have previously covered in blog posts on employee well being in the workplace in the past.
With a big focus on ESG investment in the PE world, we can see the tech behind mental health issues and wellbeing growing. We are very fortunate at Polestar to be speaking with a number of healthtech and wellbeing solution providers. If you would like to know more or have an interest in the space, we would be delighted to speak with you.
Millions of patients in England face dangerously long waits for mental health care unless ministers urgently draw up a recovery plan to tackle a “second pandemic” of depression, anxiety, psychosis and eating disorders