Mental Health treatment for today’s youth is a challenge and an increasingly important gap that needs to be addressed. Three out of five teenagers with depression do not receive any mental health treatment which has likely contributed to the 56% increase in the rate of suicide over the past decade. It’s important to look for the cause of increasing depression in our youth. Some parents could point at addictive social media platforms that feed on self-esteem insecurities, but while research shows correlation it hasn’t proven it clinically.
While we are working towards figuring out why young millennials and generation Z show higher levels of depression than previous generations at the same age, one company is looking to solve the problem of access and coordination of mental health services for that population.
Naomi Allen and Giovanni Collela in partnership with the venture capital firm Oak HC/FT formed Emilio Health last year, now rebranded as Brightline Health. The company found increasing demand for its service during the Covid-19 quarantine and launched its service July of this year followed by an announcement of a $20 million Series A round in August.
“By combining technology with personalized and coordinated care, Brightline is uniquely positioned to guide and support children and their families through the rollercoaster that mental health challenges can pose.” Billy Deitch, Principal, Oak HC/FT
Brightline Health is offering a similar model to Livongo where Collela, a psychiatrist by trade, was previously the Chief Growth Officer. The platform consists of teletherapy protocols between provider and child, recorded metrics by the provider and shared with the parents, as well as on-demand digital classes and exercises. At the center of the care coordination between provider, parents, and even third party interventions (such as school based programs) is a Brightline Health coach.
The platform is at its core is a behavioral therapy program for patients with ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, and even Trauma and Conduct problems. The platform is expanding to have an all-inclusive solution for parents because happy kids means happier & more productive parents especially during the pandemic. In addition to its behavioral therapy programs, Brightline Health offers formal psychiatry sessions with medication support, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. One service we did not see is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for Autism, which has seen a 15% increase in incidence since 2012 according to the CDC. That should be on every mental health company's strategic radar hopefully.