Can a trusted consumer brand reduce stigma and draw more people into the mental health care they need? Can technology and other emotional support modalities help meet the resulting demand? How much better could things be with a full suite of services that allow individuals to access a wide array of support levels, from self-guided meditation, to text-based coaching, to teletherapy and telepsychiatry?
These were the questions many of us were asking when the big, juicy news of Headspace Health was announced: Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation, and Ginger, a leader in on-demand mental healthcare, recently announced that they will be merging to form Headspace Health. I had a chance to connect with the Headspace Health leadership team about the merger. Here is our conversation below:
1. With the combined company, Headspace Health will provide a full suite of services, including everything from meditation, to text-based coaching, to teletherapy and telepsychiatry. How does this relationship change the user experience for Headspace and Ginger? (e.g. Does Ginger use the Headspace content? Do Headspace consumers now have access to clinical services?)
As Headspace Health, we are building the most accessible and comprehensive digital health and wellbeing platform. Together, we can manage the full spectrum of mental healthcare needs and go a long way in closing what is a huge gap in the world.
In the near-term, Headspace and Ginger members will not experience any changes to our products and services. After the transaction closes, Ginger coaches and the greater clinical team will begin leveraging Headspace’s popular meditation and mindfulness content as part of the care they deliver to Ginger members. Over time, we will be integrating the services to deliver a frictionless experience for our members, beginning with our enterprise business, then moving to our consumer business.
2. As many of our readers have seen and experienced, we have a massive provider shortage. What is Headspace Health's view on this issue and what is your approach to address it?
According to the World Health Organization, close to 1 billion people around the globe are living with a mental disorder, and more than 75% of people worldwide with mental, neurological and substance use disorders receive no treatment for their condition at all. Headspace and Ginger will bring their combined expertise in consumer brand, evidence-based interventions, and technology to improve resilience, reduce stress, and provide treatment to the millions of people experiencing mental health symptoms, from anxiety to depression to complex diagnoses. By coming together at a critical moment of global need, Headspace Health - the combined entity of Headspace and Ginger - will democratize mental health and wellbeing so people around the world can access a full spectrum of affordable and comprehensive support to meet their needs — regardless of their background, location or ability to pay.
3. Where and how does prevention play a role in Headspace Health's solution and why is it important for customers?
Prevention is absolutely critical. We believe that by bringing these two companies together we can help more people get access to care sooner. There’s a huge need for people to address their mental health before it becomes acute. It is clear to us that Headspace is doing this in a very thoughtful, elegant way and its approach is proven. When you combine the range of high-quality, low-cost coaching and psychiatry options offered by Ginger with Headspace’s beloved mindfulness and meditation content, we now have the ability to dramatically improve the accessibility of mental healthcare to more people around the world. And together, we can reach them earlier in their journey, and provide higher acuity care when needed.
For example, Headspace already helps millions of individuals build successful routines and resilience that can then help when those inevitable stressful moments happen in their lives. In those moments, if they need additional support, Ginger is there to support them with text-based coaching, and video-based therapy and psychiatry. As their condition improves, they can step back down as needed and continue with their meditation and mindfulness practices.