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Five reasons to welcome Digital Mental Health innovations

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Map­ping out the Men­tal Health start­up ecosys­tem (Medi­um):

Today, 1 in 5 peo­ple have a diag­nos­able men­tal ill­ness, and 1 in 20 peo­ple have dif­fi­cul­ty lead­ing their every­day life due to men­tal ill­ness. How­ev­er before even talk­ing about the preva­lence of the issue?…one must real­ize how inef­fec­tive the cur­rent infra­struc­ture is. Here are some of the most mind-blow­ing find­ings:

  • Mis­di­ag­no­sis: 60% of Amer­i­cans go undi­ag­nosed and there­fore nev­er seek men­tal health treat­ment. In the UK, near­ly half of adults believe that, in their life­time, they have had a diag­nos­able men­tal health prob­lem, yet only a third have received a diag­no­sis
  • Inad­e­quate drug pre­scrip­tion: In the US, 80% of psy­chotrop­ic drugs are pre­scribed by pri­ma­ry care physi­cians (PCPs) rather than psy­chi­a­trists. In the UK, 75% of GPs have pre­scribed med­ica­tion even though they felt psy­cho­log­i­cal ther­a­pies would be more effec­tive.
  • Short­age of ther­a­pists: There is a 26% appoint­ment rate in the US, with 25 days on aver­age to book an appoint­ment. It is esti­mat­ed that 75% of peo­ple with men­tal health prob­lems in Eng­land may not get access to the treat­ment they need.
  • Cost: Men­tal health costs the US $201bn and the UK £105bn every year, this excludes loss of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty in the work­place and comor­bidi­ties. A ses­sion with a psy­chother­a­pist costs $80-$120 on aver­age, 45% of untreat­ed indi­vid­u­als cites cost as a bar­ri­er, and seri­ous men­tal ill­ness is more preva­lent among adults who are unin­sured and those who are poor.
  • Work­place dis­crim­i­na­tion: Today, almost two out of three peo­ple who have received hos­pi­tal treat­ment for a men­tal health con­di­tion say they have expe­ri­enced dis­crim­i­na­tion at work or when try­ing to get employ­ment.

The preva­lence of men­tal health is ulti­mate­ly very well doc­u­ment­ed but the bot­tom line is this: for an issue of this size, the infra­struc­ture to solve it is sim­ply too inef­fi­cient.”

–> Keep read­ing Map­ping out the Men­tal Health start­up ecosys­tem by investor and entre­pre­neur Edouard Gaussen.

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