The rising awareness vis-à-vis mental illness has driven the demand for its industry in the past few years. The need to monitor mental health has become a necessity in every field. Educational and professional organizations ensure maximum access to professionals for anyone who wishes to seek help. The mental health market has been growing on the digital platform with apps that aim at helping people with different kinds of problems. The target audience includes people going through stress, anxiety, suffering from PTSD, Bipolar disorders or eating disorders and people experiencing suicidal tendencies among other illnesses. “Calm” was named the app of the year in 2017 by Apple, which is primarily a sleep and meditation app but also provides help in dealing with stress and anxiety.
AbleTo has acquired Joyable in its effort to provide better mental health aid. AbleTo is a portal that connects the users with therapists and experts whereas Joyable offers virtual therapy sessions to the patients who do not have access to therapists. AbleTo has been known to provide affordable services to those in need. After the acquisition of Joyable, its reach shall extend to the virtual mental health market, which would widen its user database significantly. Smartphones have essentially become an extra limb for us humans, and we do everything through it, including connecting to other people. AbleTo hopes that the ease of access that comes with a tap on our screens and the affordability of therapy sessions will help more people.
Henry Willis, a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina, is working to create a mental health app for African Americans. He is of the view that mental health is often overlooked and emphasizes the importance of educating the youth about mental health issues. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 20% of youth in the US is living with a mental illness, and the delay between identification and treatment of mental illnesses can be of an average of ten years. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth in the US. It is about time therapy becomes a norm, and AbleTo’s vision shall take us one step closer to the day where it is accessible to everyone.