The mind can be a difficult place. Sadly, mental illness is invisible and affects everyone. At times, it may seem like an epidemic that can’t be beaten as workplace-related mental illness has reached staggering numbers. However, UK startups are changing our approach to mental wellbeing. So we wanted to share 5 mental health UK startups and celebrate how they’re benefiting others.
Being a teenager is particularly tough. Wanting to provide an outlet for teens where they could open up to others, Kerstyn Comley and Suzi Godson founded MeeTwo in 2015. The free app provides teenagers with a safe space to discuss their feelings and other users can comment and offer words of support. Undergraduate psychology students also provide advice and information on helplines and charities which are available.
So far, MeeTwo has only raised a seed funding round. The 2018 investment didn’t announce how much cash was injected into the company but the startup’s impact can be seen in other ways. “It’s encouraging that even [from] operating over the past four years we have seen young people become more knowledgeable about staying safe online,” Comley recently told Elite Business. MeeTwo is an example of how social media can provide a support platform for youngsters, rather than be the cause of their unhappiness.
Both the person affected, and their loved ones suffer from the onset of mental illnesses. Luckily, many entrepreneurs are trying to do something about it. One of them is Rich Andrews who founded Healios, a digital healthcare company, in 2013.
The startup offers support for those with mental and physical illnesses and their families. Healios does this by matching patients with clinicians based on their needs, who continue to have regular sessions with them via video link. A range of mental health topics can be covered, including psychosis and PTSD. To help patients‘ families better understand how to best provide care, Healios allows them to attend the sessions via video link together with the patient. So far Healios has raised £2.2m in one funding round in 2018. It’s refreshing to see a mental healthcare company that understands the importance of family support on the road to recovery.
With deadlines and bureaucracy, it’s no wonder the workplace is a contributor to mental health issues. Recognising this fact, Unmind has been developed as a B2B digital mental health platform specifically designed for the workplace. Founded in 2016, Unmind has so far raised £4.7m across three funding rounds. It’s accessible via an app and provides an introduction to mental health as well as exercises designed to enhance things such as mood and concentration. In collaboration with psychologists, Unmind provides training through videos, audio and interactive content to reduce stigma in the workplace and help employees take care of both their own and their colleagues’ mental wellbeing. After using Unmind, 89% of employees reported an increase in confidence and understanding of mental health. Moreover, Unmind is used globally by clients such as John Lewis, Square Enix and Just Eat. With big brands supporting the startup, it’s clear that Unmind shows promise.
While you may think mental illness isn’t a topic to be discussed amongst children, Mind Moose wants to change that perception. Mind Moose is an online platform designed to educate kids between the ages of seven and 12 about their mental health. Founded by Zoe Ross in 2017, Mind Moose has raised £70,000 over two funding rounds. To encourage a focus on children’s mental health as well as their physical one, Mind Moose uses colourful characters and interactive activities to teach children how their mind and emotions work. The startup is available to schools and families. Once Mind Moose’s activities are completed, children should experience improved self-esteem and better control over their emotions. The startup claims its services are particularly useful for children who are being bullied, moving schools or have autism. We can only applaud Mind Moose’s emphasis on improving the knowledge surrounding mental health for kids.
With the stresses of daily life, it can be hard to switch off. That’s where Calm comes in. Founded in 2012, Calm has raised over $116m over eight funding rounds so far. In February 2019, it became the world’s first mental health tech unicorn and for good reason. Michael Acton Smith founded Calm after experiencing mental illness first-hand after he was left feeling stressed out from running Mind Candy, creator of online game Moshi Monsters. Calm provides relaxing techniques for a better mental wellbeing, including meditation, mindful stretches, and relaxing music. The startup has truly blossomed and is currently partnering with airport spa business XpresSpa across US airports. Calm has also published a book of the same name that contains advice on how to reduce stress as well as a sleep mist that contains calming lavender oil to soothe customers.
For anyone feeling stressed or anxious, Calm’s got you covered in most areas. While mental illness can be isolating, these UK startups represent the help that is available. With mental health awareness increasing, we can only expect more startup talent from the UK to join the fight against mental illness.
Article originally posted on http://elitebusinessmagazine.co.uk/people/item/ten-uk-startups-paving-the-way-to-better-mental-health