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Mental health startups disrupt the mental health space with innovation, which was needed for a long time. While breakthroughs in science directly help the medical space, mental health is still on a decline. Why is that?

If you bleed, you apply a plaster. If you have an internal injury, you go to a hospital. It’s simple. A fixes B. But if you’re hurt mentally, there is no easy way to fix it. There aren’t enough options to find professional help for people with mental health issues. Be it an overrun health sector, the stigma that having mental health problems means being weak, or missing education on the topic. Mental health services are not adequate to meet the needs of society.

Medications often relieve some symptoms, but they don’t address the root causes. The r problem still exists. Therefore, Mental Health Startups came to be. They look for innovative  ways o to help on a more sustainable and effective level.

With that in mind, we look at what these 5 mental health startups in Europe offer and what their benefits are.

What is Braive?

Braive offers online mental health treatment to people who deal with mental health problems. You can use the app independently of a clinician. You choose when to learn and how much.

To start off, you’ll do a mental health check on their website, which is free‌. After completing the check, the app uses your answers to create a plan for you to follow by recommending tools and giving you an indicative diagnosis. You can print this test and take it to your doctor as the first step to a diagnosis.

After you get the recommendations, start your guided behavioural program with their app.

Depending on your needs and problems, you may not need to see a psychologist, if you take advantage of their courses and learn cognitive behavioural therapy techniques that will improve your state.

Braive has over 50 million monthly users.

What is Dawn Health?

Sleep is essential for our body and mind. It helps us recharge the energy that we lost over the day. After six to eight hours of sleep, you feel refreshed.

If you have insomnia, your sleep or the lack thereof will directly hurt your physical and mental health. As a result, many people start using medicines to help their sleep. They begin with sleeping pills, while people with severe cases of insomnia start using prescription drugs to get their rest. Addiction is a very real possibility with some sleep medicines

Mental Health Startups like Dawn Health try to help you sleep without the addition of pills or drugs. The app uses cognitive-behavioural therapy as a treatment for insomnia, where you learn to ‌find what keeps you up at night. It helps you understand the thoughts you’re having while trying to sleep and why they need resolving first.

This year, Dawn Health is set out to receive certification to function as a legal manufacturer of medical devices.

What is MindDoc?

Moods change daily. Why not check them daily? MindDoc follows this approach by asking you daily questions on the app that evaluates your well-being.

The German-based mental health startup tracks symptoms of common mental illnesses in real-time over a long period‌. Depending on your needs, you receive automated feedback, courses, exercises, and a library of educational videos.

Users can recognize patterns in their symptoms and their progression while they apply ‌strategies to deal with them. The full summary of your protocols is easily accessed and shared with your clinicians.

The app allows you to get an initial overview of whether further medical or psychotherapeutic help is recommended. However, they state clearly that their app isn’t here to replace therapists, but ‌to support them in helping you.

MindDoc has over 3 Million downloads and health care providers in Germany support it.

What is Sympatient?

Life is stressful. For some, it’s too stressful, and they get anxious. Over time, their mental health will deteriorate to ‌where an anxiety disorder is diagnosed. With COVID-19, lockdowns, and little to no social interaction, the World Health Organization saw a 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide.

Sympatient was founded in 2016 in Germany. The startup uses virtual reality to help people with anxiety disorders. Virtual reality exposure therapy can be used for agoraphobia, social phobia, or panic disorder.

To get their kit, you can submit a form to professional health care providers, and therapists or visit their homepage. The German Health Service DiGA offers a full reimbursement to 72 million German citizens.

What is Thymia?

Depression has the biggest effect of worsening your health in comparison to other chronic mental illnesses. To diagnose it, you either take a standardized test or visit a professional therapist, who can evaluate you. Thymia offers a different solution. They are currently onboarding psychiatrists and mental health clinics.

Studies show that depression can be seen in facial features while looking at pictures and in speech while talking.

Thymia uses video games based on neuropsychology to analyse facial micro-expressions and speech patterns. This approach makes mental health assessments faster, more detailed, and objective.

It follows three steps:

  • After requesting access, you make a baseline assessment, where your facial features and speech will be analysed.
  • You visit your clinician, who has access to your results and can decide on a diagnosis and intervention plan.
  • Use Thymia at home for continuous, remote evaluation. This helps the clinician to get a deeper understanding of how his patient is progressing.

Summary

Mental health is on the decline, but we can see a shift in user interaction and interest with the help of mental health startups. Over the three last years, more funding than ever reached these startups. Since the first quarter of 2020, startups received over 576 million in funding, which surpasses the prior quarterly report by 60%. Funding for mental health startups continues to increase year after year.

More health care providers see the benefit of including them in their programs. The number of downloads for these apps is on a steady rise.

In conclusion, the biggest benefits of mental health startups are:

  • Time: With instant access to apps, you don’t need to wait for an appointment, which could take months. When you are hurt, waiting months can severely increase stress and with it, your mental illness.
  • Money: Depending on where you live, therapy can be really expensive. While these apps don’t replace traditional therapy, they can bridge over the time you can’t afford it.
  • Autonomy: Help yourself whenever you find the time. Mental Health Startups gave you the option to learn more about yourself, your situation, and your feelings by simply using your phone or computer.
  • Sharing: Talking about going to therapy is still a difficult topic for many people. However, sharing the good experiences you made using an app might be easier. Most apps we listed have a forum, where you can interact with other users.

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