| July 22, 2018

Spring Health Gets Funding to Help Businesses Offer Affordable Mental Health Care to Their Employees

Anca Spanu

Anca's career in journalism spans over 2 decades. She has served as staff writer, editor and deputy chief editor at... Anca's career in journalism spans over 2 decades. She has served as staff writer, editor and deputy chief editor at various media outlets all over the world. At Healthcare Weekly, Anca writes about current events, innovations in the healthcare space and events/ conferences with a focus on investing & startups.

According to tinypulse.com, a recent Everest College survey revealed that 83% of American professionals are stressed out at their jobs. Whether it’s due to low pay, too much work, poor work-life balance, lack of job security, lack of professional development opportunities, or not being in the right field, Americans are suffering from stress at an alarming rate. According to the same source, stress costs the American economy a whopping 300 billion in lost productivity, and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Complex solutions to difficult problems

The reason why mental health issues have such a huge impact on the people’s work is complex, and so are the solutions needed. There is still a stigma around mental health, and this is why employees sometimes prefer to push through, working even under very stressful conditions, instead of admitting they are suffering and taking a day off to unwind.

Mental care, on the other hand, is itself a victim of the silence that surrounds mental disorders or conditions, especially since patients rarely confide in others, and even medical specialists don’t always have access to sufficient medical data to help them prescribe the best course of treatment in some cases. So, the need to match the medical needs of patients with specialist expertise became stringent.

Within this complex web of social issues, Spring Health has developed a solution which may address some of the stress-related issues we’re facing today as a society.

Spring Health – a tech-driven solution to workplace stress?

Spring Health is a platform which intends to help smaller companies provide their employees with an easier way to get access to mental health treatment.

The startup has developed a personalized confidential mental wellness plan for  employees allowing them to access a network of therapists or psychiatrists and get help as quickly as possible.

“Everything around us is personalized these days – like shopping on Amazon, search results on Google, and restaurant recommendations on Yelp – but you can’t get personalized recommendations for your mental health care”, CEO and company co-founder April Koh said.

To put it simply, what the company is doing is providing a tool which helps employers help their employees take better care of their own mental health, thus improving productivity and overall quality of life for the workforce.  

Last week the company announced it has raised an additional $6 million in funding led by Rethink Impact, with Work-Bench, BBG Ventures, and The Partnership Fund for New York City joining the round, with RRE Ventures and the William K. Warren Foundation also participating.

Spring Health began in the psychiatry department at Yale University.

Their proprietary technology was developed by Yale data scientists and psychiatrists. Their research has been published in leading medical journals and recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and National Quality Forum.

Employees get help, employers get happier, healthier staff

Spring Health sounds like a gulp of fresh air for mental patients and their employers.

However, how beneficial it will be is still hard to evaluate, since stress is such a complex phenomenon. But the innovative personalized solution Spring Health proposes might be the necessary difference in how we approach mental health care.

The reason why “personalized” really matters is that stress itself doesn’t easily hierarchize. What would be incredibly stressful for some may not impact others.

 Although The American Institute of Stress is often asked to construct lists of the “most” and “least” stressful occupations, such rankings have little importance for several reasons.

Some individuals thrive having to perform several duties at the same time and would be severely stressed by assembly line work enjoyed by others who only want to perform one task at a time that they feel they are capable of completing.

So, it is not particularly to say that a certain profession is more stressful than another because actually, it all depends on the individual performing the tasks within. The stresses that a policeman or high school teacher working in an inner city are subjected to are quite different than those experienced by their counterparts in rural Iowa, The American Institute of Stress states.

So, Spring Health’s personalized and confidential solution, one that aims directly to help the final beneficiary, although via the employer’s pocket, might be the one who does the trick, after all.

Meta title: Startup gets funding to help employers offer staff affordable mental health care


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