The pandemic is putting a strain on everyone, but teenagers in particular are seeing an increase in anxiety and depression.
In parallel, distance therapy and online mental health services are also growing. A Seattle startup call Joon Care just got $ 3,5 million to expand its distance therapy service for teens and young adults.
Mental health online, with an app
The Joon Care app formula is simple. Almost brutal. The app connects clients with a therapist who specializes in youth. Sessions range from $ 120 to $ 180 per hour. Clients typically subscribe to 16-week treatment plans that include therapy sessions and app access. Customers under the age of 18 also get a monthly check-in for parents.
In terms of business model, Joon Care has no relationship with private insurance companies in the USA. He receives money directly from clients, and then pays the therapists for the care they provide. Upon request, you can provide a detailed statement to obtain reimbursement from insurance.
The boom was crazy: in just one year it started and structured a service in an entire state, that of Washington. The first session of the online mental health service started in May, just six months ago. Today Joon Care is already active in two other American states, California and Oregon.
Online therapy also becomes contactless
Joon Care is riding another pandemic trend. As social distancing has accelerated the demand for remote health care options, patients (and even therapists) increasingly seek teletherapy platforms to replace or complement in-person care. Around the world, there is a flurry of mental health startups with online services that aim to help people. In particular, the services are oriented towards a specific block: people aged between 13 and 24. A crucial period, which has experienced a considerable increase in problems even before Covid-19.
The second leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults in 2018 was suicide. The social isolation born of the pandemic can only make the picture worse.
For Italy the professor is very clear Massimo Di Giannantonio, president of the Italian Society of Psychiatry. Pharmacies have increased
by 35% the endowments of anxiolytics and hypnotics and by 28,2% the endowments of antidepressants. As many as 300 new cases are expected in the care of mental health departments.
The demand for mental health services, even online, has never been greater
What insight can be drawn from cases like that of Joon Care? Beyond the fact that his rapid growth does not yet authorize me to make a definitive judgment. First of all, the strong specialization of online therapy in an area that will be the one with the highest increase in the near future. What's more: the area of teenagers and young adults will have an increase in demand for online mental health services that is currently unmanageable. Far exceeds the offer. Put simply: there is room to build many such services.