Hey amazing human,

This week I’d like to announce some changes for the newsletter. In prior months I oscillated between Wellness Stacks and Wellness link round-ups every other week and have been humbled by friends who have shown their support 🥺

Going forward I will be sending out the newsletter in the following format and cadence:

Weekly on Thursdays

  • 💸Coverage on the mental health tech space featuring
  • 1 trend/insight
  • Key mental health start-up funding/news
  • ✨resources to support your internal space
  • Assortment of wellness links

1x a month

  • 🧠 deep-dives into the wellness stacks behind leaders in tech
  • Our usual wellness stack interviews across mind and body

Why the change? I have yet to find a newsletter that covers the mental health start-up industry specifically, so I wanted to take it upon myself to create one. I’m not an investor nor am I a mental health professional - just a curious worker in tech who believes more start-ups should be working on wellness. That being said, I didn’t want to lose the content that focused on nourishing one’s internal space, so will be saving the most important part for last.

Let’s jump into it!

☝️one take

  • Mental health is top of mind for many Americans - Although our physical health is being threatened by the virus, there is tremendous strain on our mental health. If you’re feeling mentally vulnerable, you’re not alone. 50% of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health via Kaiser.
  • Coronavirus has helped cut through red tape in terms of accessibility
  • Last week regulations on telehealth were lifted to expand its usage. (Medicare will now enable telehealth access and reimbursements.)  
  • An upcoming law to enable physicians and therapists to practice across state lines is in the process of going into effect.  

Why does this matter?

  • upsurge in mental health demand + increasing accessibility = positive impact to mental health start-ups that have traditionally been blocked from providing services across state lines.
  • Access is unequally distributed across America. The ratio of psychiatrists per 100K people in the US is highest in urban areas as opposed to poorer ones.
  • If 1 in 5 people have a mental health disorder, it’s certain that there are millions of undiagnosed mental health disorders that are disproportionately impacting poor or rural communities.
  • With a potential law to enable therapists/psychiatrists to practice across state lines and the rise of telehealth, this map could look a lot more balanced.
  • This is really exciting and what companies like Mindstrong are trying to tackle. This video really pulled on my heartstrings.. 😢

Daniel Graf @danielgraf

It has been almost 4 weeks since I joined Mindstrong. When friends are asking me how the new job is, I answer with “I feel like I have arrived”. Instead of writing lots of words,I want you to hear the words of a Mindstrong patient: youtu.be/HBep072yvUo

💸 funding

  • In Q1 2020 there were 30 mental health startup funding rounds totaling $462mm invested. The amount invested this past quarter alone is close to the total amount invested in all of 2019. This is largely due to a big change in the size of the deals, as opposed to volume.
  • Some key ones:
  • 🧠 Headspace (Series-C) - mindfulness and meditation company raised $93MM. The growth stage venture firm Blisce led the equity part of the round and another $40MM in debt financing came from Pacific Western Bank.
  • What’s it for? Entering the B2B space, expanding to healthcare practitioners, and going international. Furthermore, pushing forward clinical studies that could provide scientific validation for meditation health benefits. More from TechCrunch here.
  • 🏙 Lyra (Series-C) - health care benefits start-up raised $75MM led by IVP and joined by Meritech Capital Partners, Casdin Capital, Crown Venture Fund, etc.
  • What’s it for? expand its platform technology and network of evidence-based mental health providers. More here.
  • 🥼Modern Health (Series-B) - B2B digital mental health platform raised $31MM led by Founders Fund and John Doerr, with participation from Kleiner Perkins and Afore Capital.
  • What’s it for? accelerate product development, hire more mental health providers, and expand internationally. More here.
  • 🌱Spring Health (Series-A) - employer mental health benefits raised $22MM led by Northzone, Equinox Ventures and Able Partners.
  • What’s it for? not disclosed More here.

📖 reads

🧘🏻‍♂️ activities

  • The Call to Unite- a 24hr livestream celebrating our shared humanity ft an eclectic line-up of participants like Oprah, Yo-Yo Ma, Bill Clinton, P. Diddy, Eckhart Tolle, Andrew Yang, and interludes of live DJ-ing. I had this on in the background this past weekend and it brought a smile to my face multiple times throughout the day.
  • An Interactive EcoTherapeutic Meditation by the NY Times - the first time a news article has guided me through a meditation. Check-out the format - it’s delightfully realistic and calming.

🛠 tools

  • Mental Health America Free Screening Tools - Screen yourself for free for a variety of mental health disorders.
  • Templates for remote icebreakers- Icebreaker is video conferencing software specifically focused on facilitating community building events. I’ve used them for a few communities I'm a part of and it’s really well done.
  • Write your future self a letter 📝 - cool site where you can send snail mail to future you. Side note: What I also find therapeutic is writing a letter to my past self. I’m very forgiving and compassionate towards younger me. Then I try to imagine how my future self would talk to my present self. Probably a lot nicer than I currently am.
  • Spotify Daily Wellness Playlists - have you checked your Spotify dash lately? Spotify is making daily wellness playlists now that include a mix of calm and soothing songs, meditations, and podcasts so you can namastay sane.
  • Free printable journal templates for your organization/self-reflection needs. They make some of my favorite journals!
  • My personal WFH/self-care tools as of late:
  • Honestly, most days I go with Nescafe instant coffee in a huge cup. But when i’m feeling fancy: Bulletproof coffee brewed with Grosche Milano Espresso Maker + toped with froth made with Hadin Milk Frother and poured into Sweese Espresso Cups.
  • HP 27 inch Pavilion Monitor - especially appreciate its aestheticism.
  • Llama socks from The Stock Store - to keep my perpetually cold feet warm.
  • Japanese Asano Paper Moon Table Lamp - this lamp makes me feel so happy and peaceful. It instantly transports me into a Japanese haiku.

That’s it for this week!

Be well,