• More Mental Health Advertising, Less Mental Health Stigma?

      Oss, Monica E. (Open Minds, 2021-05-11)
      The beginnings of virtual mental health service delivery can be traced to 1986 and Cornell University’s Dear Uncle Ezra, a question and answer forum on mental health issues. Some credit the origins to David Sommers who, in 1995, started a fee-based service using emails and real-time chats to provide one-on-one therapy (see The History of Online Therapy). In the 2000s, we saw a proliferation of telehealth companies—Teladoc in 2002, Amwell in 2006, and MDLive in 2009. Followed by mental health specialty platforms like Ginger in 2011, Talkspace in 2012, BetterHelp in 2013, Quartet Health in 2014, Lyra Health in 2015 …and now a proliferation of virtual behavioral health companies, including Amazon and UnitedHealth Group’s new OptumCare platform. Worldwide, telehealth companies raised a record $4.2 billion in equity funding in the first quarter of 2021 with more than 130 deals from 32 countries. Six telehealth companies became unicorns with valuations of more than $1 billion. In the same period, funding for mental health increased nearly 54% over the previous quarter with $852 million raised through 64 deals . Read full article for more details.