A tech startup called Lantern is further taking aim at mental health. The startup already raised $4.4 million to offer online and mobile coaching programs to support mental health issues, but it recently launched a program to help people better deal with stress.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says up to 20% of Americans last year experienced some kind of mental health issue. It’s estimated that 10% of children under the age of 18 experienced a bout of significant depression in 2014. Despite the commonness of mental health issues, treatment for mental health in America is lacking. Less than 44% of adults and fewer than 20% of children get treated.
Lantern hopes to increase the attention given to mental health issues with its mobile and online tools. An assessment is required upon signing up, which helps determine whether stress, anxiety, or body image is the patient’s focus. Lantern uses cognitive behavioral therapy techniques in its programs to observe how thoughts, feelings, and behavior all work together in each individual patient.
Although Lantern has experienced coaches who are trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, Lantern’s ultimate goal is to give patients the strength to manage issues on their own. Day-to-day coaching helps patients get through programs so they can eventually reach the point where they feel empowered enough to manage without assistance.
It can take up to 10 weeks to complete the 14 programs within Lantern, and they encourage regular interaction with assigned coaches. Breathing and muscle relaxation techniques are just part of the introductory stress program.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Lantern Founder Alejandro Foung suggests that there is a strong connection between physical and mental health: “I think in a year, it will start to become more commonplace for insurers and employers to offer holistic benefits because we can demonstrate that people who are emotionally better off and more resilient actually are healthier physically.”
Lantern programs are currently available on web and iOS. In the next year, the company hopes to offer more programs around mood disorders and interpersonal relationships.
Source for Today’s Article:
Dickey, M., “Mental Health Startup Launches Tool To Manage Stress,” October 20, 2015; http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/20/mental-health-startup-lantern-launches-tool-to-manage-stress/.