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5 Innovative Companies Tackling Serious Mental Illness

By July 10th, 2024No Comments2 min read

Serious mental illnesses (SMIs) like schizophrenia, severe bipolar disorder, and major depression affect about 5% of Americans. SMIs are incredibly costly, leading to negative health outcomes. The economic cost exceeds $300 billion annually.

Several companies are working on solutions to challenges in SMI treatment:

  1. Vanna Health: Uses a for-profit, community-based model. Led by former NIH Mental Health director Dr. Thomas Insel. Aims to prove profitability and scale community SMI care. Takes a whole-person approach.
  2. Innovive Health: Focuses on physical health and medication management for SMI patients. Provides in-home skilled nursing, therapy, and aides. Trains staff to treat SMI alongside chronic conditions. Currently in Massachusetts, plans to expand.
  3. Amae: Integrates behavioral health, primary care, and community support. Helps SMI patients reenter society through employment assistance. Long-acting injectable medications are used to improve adherence and reduce side effects. Based in Los Angeles.  
  4. Firsthand: Employs peer support to engage SMI patients in community care. Peers have firsthand SMI experience and build trust with unengaged individuals. Takes an in-person, boots-on-the-ground approach. Technology-enabled but not tech-focused.
  5. Akin: Supports SMI caregivers through digital psychoeducation. $79/month subscription includes lessons, guidance, and community. Aim to reduce SMI hospitalizations by 20-50%. Views family support as key to recovery.

Other notable companies in the SMI space include:

  • Cerebral
  • Valera Health
  • NOCD
  • Established providers like Acadia, LifeStance, Universal Health Services

As more innovators enter the SMI treatment space, there is hope for improving care and outcomes for this high-need population. Successful models could transform the landscape in the coming years.

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