At Glass Half Funded, we love businesses founded by women. In our last article, we highlighted women in FinTech and we wanted to keep the momentum going! So today, we’re celebrating an amazing group of women running mental health companies.
Mental health is a very important topic right now as we exit this global pandemic. During the pandemic, about 40% of U.S. adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, up from about 10% of adults who reported these symptoms before the pandemic. Even before the pandemic (which has disproportionately affected women), women faced higher rates of depression and anxiety than men, which is thought to be linked to women’s higher levels of poverty and isolation.
There’s no better time to talk about mental health, so let’s see what these founders have created!
THE DIFFERENCE WAS FOUNDED BY BEA ARTHUR AND IS BASED IN NEW YORK, NY
The Difference offers on-demand therapy services that are affordable and accessible through an Amazon Alexa Skill. The company believes “the right talk at the right time can make all The Difference” and connects its users to licensed professionals in under 30 minutes.
Bea Arthur is a psychotherapist and experienced founder; The Difference is Arthur’s third company. Bea Arthur was the first Black woman to be accepted to Y Combinator. She was also named an “Entrepreneur to Bet On” by Newsweek Magazine and one of Bumble’s “100 Most Inspirational New Yorkers.”
REAL WAS FOUNDED BY ARIELA SAFIRA AND IS BASED IN NEW YORK, NY
Real offers both online and in-person mental health experiences through a membership. Experiences and events range from mental health check-ins, on-demand audio or video sessions, members-only events, and roundtables. The Real team found the current state of therapy to be overpriced and outdated, and instead wanted to create a space where therapy could be truly celebrated, not just normalized.
Real was recently named to Business Insider’s list of “Most Promising Healthcare Startups of 2021.” Ariela Safira received her degree from Stanford University and was the recipient of the American Psychiatric Association’s Innovation Award in 2019.
TEMPEST WAS FOUNDED BY HOLLY WHITAKER AND IS BASED IN NEW YORK, NY
Tempest is a digital platform designed to help people stop drinking. The company designed a holistic, shame-free recovery program that leads participants through several different evidence-based treatment options for people to choose from.
Holly Whitaker was inspired to start Tempest after her own experience in recovery; she wasn’t sure if she fit the definition of an alcoholic and therefore delayed starting her sobriety journey for a long time. Whitaker’s experience is common; it takes an average of 10 years for people to seek help because people often wait for “rock bottom” moments. Tempest aims to reduce the time it takes people to find help. Whitaker has also written a book about recovery called “Quit Like a Woman.”
SPRING HEALTH WAS FOUNDED BY APRIL KOH AND ADAM CHEKROUD AND IS BASED IN NEW YORK, NY
Spring Health has a bold mission to “eliminate every barrier to mental health.” The company helps employers modernize mental health benefits. The company also uses proprietary machine-learning technology to analyze people’s potential conditions and match them to a personalized care plan.
The founders of Spring Health are trying to revolutionize the current “trial and error” approach to mental health, where patients often spend years trying different treatments and/or medications before finding something that works. Spring Health recently raised a $76M Series B financing round led by Tiger Global, with participation from Gingerbread Capital and Rethink Impact.
MOOD HEALTH WAS FOUNDED BY ELIZABETH MCMICHAEL AND MIKE CLARE AND IS BASED IN SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Mood Health’s motto is “Mental health by real humans. For real humans.” The company is on a mission to make high-quality mental health services both more convenient and more affordable.
Users can find therapists on Mood’s platform and have prescriptions delivered. The company also offers a mood tracker that can be shared with the user’s therapist. Mood takes pride in selecting only the highest quality professionals to be on the clinical team. Mood Health is backed by January Ventures.
While discussing mental health is certainly becoming more popular, stigmas still exist. I have a lot of respect for these founders and the progress they are making for the industry and for patients. I hope you’re as inspired as I am by these awesome women!