Virtual mental health provider Ginger — which serves more than 25 million individuals worldwide through employers, health plans and strategic partners — is extending its offerings to teenagers.
The San Francisco-based company on Thursday announced the roll out of Ginger for Teens, which will provide a full continuum of its services to adolescents ages 13 to 17. Select Ginger members will have access to the service starting next month, and more than 640 employer clients of the company will receive access later this year.
Teenage dependents of members who receive Ginger through their employers are eligible for the program. Ginger for Teens will also provide adolescents with services via a smartphone app that includes guided self-care content, behavioral health coaching, therapy and psychiatry.
Clinicians and coaches that have experience working with adolescents will be paired with users, who will be able to access the service from between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m Pacific Standard Time. Ginger for Teens also offers guided self-care content focused around common concerns such as mood management, identity and belonging, conflict resolution, sexuality and sexual identity.
An advisory council of 15 teenagers nationwide will support the app’s growth and development. This council will help inform content development, examine app features and provide feedback, as well as participate in focus groups.
The new service aims to not only address general emotional struggles of teenagers but also worsening behavioral health conditions that have afflicted many of them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An estimated 1-in-5 youths ages 13-to-18 nationwide struggle with a mental health condition, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Additionally, the Michigan Medicine health care system of the University of Michigan reports that nearly half of American parents have teenagers who have displayed a new or worsening mental health condition since March 2020, a date generally regarded as the beginning of pandemic.
Parents of those accessing Ginger for Teens will also be able to use the platform for support services.
“As a psychologist and mother of two teenagers, I’ve seen firsthand the repercussions that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on adolescents,“ Dana Udall, Ginger’s chief clinical officer, said in a press release announcing Ginger for Teens. “By expanding access to Ginger’s services to this population, we’re making significant progress towards achieving our vision: a world where mental health is never an obstacle.”
Founded in 2011, Ginger has raised over $220 million to date in financing, according to fundraising tracking site Crunchbase. In March, Ginger hauled in $100 million in a Series E round led by funds managed by Blackstone Growth. The round cemented Ginger as a unicorn company, raising its valuation past $1 billion.