The ubiquity of online platforms enable them to be uniquely positioned to empower those seeking mental health support. I believe that technology can—and should—help move people towards action, whether it’s through connections to the right services or normalizing the mental health experiences we all go through.

Todays “one take” features the myriad of takes technology companies have on supporting our mental health.

It’s interesting to notice how deeply embedded in the product some of these mental health features are: From being entrenched in the core hardware, like Apple’s panic attack tracking feature.. all the way to temporal marketing plays, like Dropbox’s wellness folders.

I believe that companies serious about making an impact in mental health tend to put their money where their product (not marketing) roadmap is.

Here’s how Apple, Snapchat, Riot Games, Reddit, Google, Spotify, Netflix, and Dropbox have all approached mental health in the past month - in order of product to marketing.

  • The next version of Apple Watch will warn wearers of oncoming panic attacks, track your sleep, and feature something called “Mental Health Abnormalties Detection”.
  • Through a blood-oxygen sensor and heart rate readings, the watch will determine if a wearer is hyperventilating.
  • If you’re driving or moving, the watch will ask you to pause to offer breathing exercises.
  • In terms of health features, it'll offer sleep tracking, to measure quality and length.
  • Snapchat is rolling out “Here For You” search tool that surfaces mental health resources when users search for topics like anxiety, depression, suicide, or bullying.
  • Snapchat has one of the youngest audiences of any social media platform. It reaches 90 percent of 13- to 24-year-olds, a group especially vulnerable to bullying or suggestive content.
  • They also recently added a coronavirus-specific section that will provide content on corona-induced anxiety from CDC, NHS, and Crisis Text Line.
  • Riot Games (developer of League of Legends) is partnering with Crises Text Line to offer free confidential text support for gamers facing a mental health crises. Players in the US and Canada can send the message “RIOT” to 741741 for support.
  • Riot Games also already works with Active Minds, a nonprofit that promotes mental health education and healthy gaming practices.
  • In a 2019 survey, 50% of gamers ranked “good health and mental well-being” as their top priority, above quality education, climate change, clean energy and poverty reduction.
  • Reddit is also integrating with Crisis Text Line to offer 24/7 support to those in crisis
  • Reddit users will be able to flag others whose posts indicate they’re struggling or in crisis.
  • The flagged user is then immediately sent a private message offering them resources + optional a helpline where they’ll be connected with a crisis counselor
  • This seems like a natural extension of Reddit’s core product that offers forums for those facing challenges in their life. I.e. r/KindVoice, r/CasualConversation, r/StopSmoking.
  • Google launches a clinical questionnaire for all users who search for information about anxiety
  • Google will not collect or share users' answers or results, but will show users how their self-reported anxiety levels compare to other respondents' levels.
  • This is the third mental health screener Google has made available via its search function. It has previously provided questionnaires and information for users whose searches pertained to PTSD and depression.
  • Spotify launched curated Daily Wellness playlists that feature a mix of music podcasts and meditations
  • The Daily Wellness refreshes 2x/day, increasing your exposure to new music and podcasts.
  • Morning playlist focuses on motivation. i.e.  inspirational quotes, intention-setting prompts, and positive words. Evening playlist shifts to help you unwind with mindfulness meditation and relaxing music.
  • Netflix launched a new series on Instagram that focuses on taking care of your mental health during the pandemic
  • Actors like Joey King (The Kissing Booth) and Lana Condor (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before) will chat with experts on their experiences with mental health.

🗞 news in the m-health tech space

Headspace raised $47.7M for its meditation app in equity funding with support from Series A, B, and C lead investors - an extension to its latest Series C round.

  • 🤔 why it’s interesting: Headspace said it will continue to invest in its Headspace for Work segment, which has seen its revenue double year over year. It’s also making a push to go international through translations of the app in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German. I wonder if the push for enterprise and international represents saturation of TAM for its core consumer offering?

Advekit raised $2.6M led by Moment Ventures for its therapist matchmaking platform.

  • 🤔 why it’s interesting: When I saw this, my immediate thoughts were: do we really need another therapist match making product? However, what intrigued me was Advekit’s focus on automating out the insurance gunk that comes with getting help. With the platform, patients leverage their out-of-network insurance benefits in real time and only pay what they owe to the provider, bypassing the gnarly process of submitting reimbursement claims.