You’ve probably already heard that world-class gymnast Simone Biles has withdrawn from the U.S. team and individual all-around competitions at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Biles told the press that the pressure of ultra-high expectations plus the added stress of COVID protocols during the games contributed to her decision to withdraw. 

Why Simone Biles and the Startup Community Are Finally Talking About Mental Health

Mental health care isn’t just a big conversation in sports right now – it’s in the spotlight in startups and tech, too. 

Tech founders are often reluctant to disclose anxiety, depression or substance abuse problems, fearing their employees and investors will perceive them as unable to perform their job. 

The restrictions, stress, and isolation of COVID-19 are intensifying these concerns. During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. are reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression (that’s up from one in ten from January to June 2019).

As companies return to the office or adapt to hybrid work models, they have a chance to make mental wellness a top priority for all team members, including founders and executives. 

Making wellbeing a priority is shifting investing trends, too. VC funding for mental health startups has skyrocketed, with investors pouring a record-setting $1.5 billion into this sector in 2020. 

Want to explore possible opportunities in mental health startups? Check out a few of these rising companies in the Unvalley:

Stitch – A companionship and activity site that keeps older adults socially connected.

Elevate Labs – A suite of 35+ personalized brain-training apps for increasing productivity, boosting confidence, and improving listening ability.

Vida Health – A physical and mental telehealth company that provides video sessions with coaches and therapists.

Ginger – On-demand mental health support through a private app, with access to therapists and psychiatrists.

Neutun Labs – An app that helps you identify and address mental health issues earlier by tracking mood changes over time.

Limbix – Digital therapeutic support specifically for teens with depression. 

Genoa Telepsychiatry – Specializing in customized telepsychiatry solutions for underserved communities.

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