How Virtual Therapy Apps Are Trying To Disrupt The Mental Health Industry

Oct 11, 2019, 07:40am
By Ruth Umoh
Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ruthumoh/2019/10/11/how-virtual-therapy-apps-are-disrupting-the-mental-health-industry/#5ab5a56ebb4a


Millions of Americans deal with mental illness each year, and more than half of them go untreated. As the mental health industry has grown in recent years, so has the number of tech startups offering virtual therapy, which range from online and app-based chatbots to video therapy sessions and messaging.

Still a nascent industry, with most startups in the early seed-stage funding round, these companies say they aim to increase access to qualified mental health care providers and reduce the social stigma that comes with seeking help.

While the efficacy of virtual therapy, compared with traditional in-person therapy, is still being hotly debated, its popularity is undeniable. Its most recognizable pioneers, BetterHelp and TalkSpace, have enrolled nearly 700,000 and more than 1 million users respectively. And investors are taking notice.

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