Psych Hub will get $16M to develop into ‘Angie’s Checklist meets for psychological well being care’

Psych Hub, a mental health education startup based in Nashville, announced last week that it raised $16 million. 

The funding round was led by HC9 and Frist Cressey Ventures, with participation from HealthStream, Emerson Collective and Bailey & Co. The round brings Psych Hub’s total funding to date to $20 million.

The startup was founded in 2018 by licensed therapist Marjorie Morrison and former U.S. Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy. Morrison, who serves as CEO of the company, said in an interview that when she was creating Psych Hub with Kennedy, he told her they were going to build “Angie’s List meets for mental health care.” The former Congressman has publicly acknowledged the mental health challenges he has faced and the need for greater access to mental health care.

The startup’s chief goal is to expand mental health education and equip providers with more evidence-based standards of care, according to Morrison. From her experience as a mental health practitioner, she knows that she and her colleagues were trained as generalists in school, leaving them on their own to find evidence-based best practices for the specialties they ended up working in.

“You wouldn’t go see a cardiologist for a broken foot, right?” Morrison asked. “But we do do that in mental health.”

Psych Hub addresses this problem through its training hub for mental health practitioners. This online hub certifies providers to perform various evidence-based interventions spanning different specialties, such as cognitive behavioral therapy for depression, anxiety, eating disorders and insomnia. Morrison said Psych Hub “acts like Switzerland” in the sense that it sits on the sidelines — the company provides no direct care of its own, but rather acts as an education and training center.

The training materials on Psych Hub’s platform are approved by its scientific advisory board, which Morrison said includes the chief medical officers of behavioral health for the nation’s largest payers — including Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, Centene, Humana, Molina, Magellan, Beacon, Optum and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Health systems, medical practice groups and insurers pay Psych Hub to train their mental health providers on its platform. For instance, CVS Health put more than 280,000 of its mental health providers on Psych Hub’s platform this year to receive training on suicide prevention, Morrisson said

In addition to its practitioner training hub, Psych Hub also has the Mental Health Ally Hub, which the company says is “for everyone.” The hub trains everyday people on how to support those around them through mental health struggles, offering content such as educational videos, podcasts, tip sheets and infographics.

“Part of the issue when there’s not enough mental health providers is that really everybody needs to be trained on how to fill those gaps and be there to support someone,” Morrison said.

She also pointed out that educating consumers on mental health care best practices as they pertain to different specialties makes for a smarter patient base. The content on the Mental Health Ally Hub can help patients better determine which providers to seek out, moving them toward specialists, according to Morrison.

Just like the practitioner training hub, the Mental Health Ally Hub is subscription-based. Companies such as HCA Healthcare and CVS Health have paid to offer their employees the content housed in this hub, Morrison said.

But Psych Hub is not the only platform where people can access mental health education. For example, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has mental health practitioner training programs, and so does online course provider Udemy.

Morrison said her company differentiates itself because its courses are engaging and taught “Masterclass-style.” She pointed out that the current completion rate for Psych Hub’s Mental Health Ally courses are 88.5%, which she said is above the industry average rate of 12%. Morrison also said that there are no other companies that offer engaging content to both consumer and professionals alike.

Along with its two subscription-based hubs, Psych Hub also offers consumers free educational content. Much of this is found on its YouTube channel, which averages about a million views per month, Morrison claimed. As of Monday, the channel’s August views were about 705,000. Psych Hub’s free content is sponsored by healthcare providers and companies including Johnson & Johnson and Neuroflow

For example, the Nashville startup collaborated with HCA and Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry this year on a 10-episode podcast series called “You Ask, We Answer” to answer people’s mental health questions. The episodes are free and available for anyone to download or listen to on YouTube.

With the $16 million cash influx it just received, Psych Hub will expand its platform further. In November, the company plans to launch Psych Hub Connect, which will match patients with specialists who fit their needs and accept their insurance.

Photo: Nuthawut Somsuk, Getty Images

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.