Digital platform Mantra Health, which tailors mental health services to the higher education population, has raised $22 million in a Series A funding round led by VMG Partners.
Other participants in the round included Canaan Partners, Global Founders Capital, Baleon Capital, Western Tech Investments and City Light Capital, all of whom have previously invested in the company. New investors of Mantra Health that participated in the round included New Market Venture Partners, Elements Health Ventures, 14W and Alumni Ventures.
To date, Mantra Health has raised $27.2 million, according to fundraising tracking site Crunchbase. The new funding round has taken place on the heels of a declaration made late last year by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, where he declared youth mental health to be a national public health issue.
Various statistics have painted a sobering picture of youth mental health nationwide. On the campuses of colleges and universities, 30% of students have reported feeling depressed since 2020 – which was when the pandemic had begun taking a toll on many both physically and emotionally across the country.
“COVID and other factors have created a perfect storm that requires immediate support systems to be built to address the rising mental health crisis among young adults,” Ally Tam, a partner at VMG Partners, said in a press release issued on behalf of Mantra Health. “Mantra Health has emerged as the preferred provider for universities/colleges given their collaborative and tailored approach to delivering quality mental health for young adults and their unique campus lives.”
Founded in 2018, New York-based Mantra Health works with higher education institutions to link students to mental health services including therapy and psychiatry.
Those interested in using Mantra Health can sign up for a free online assessment, whereby they are scheduled for an initial video consultation to discuss treatment options. Upon the completion of the treatment plan, members are connected to providers on the platform for 24/7 messaging and video appointments.
Schools partnering with Mantra Health do so by integrating their on-campus mental health offerings into the company’s platform. Mantra Health accepts commercial insurances including Cigna, Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, with services also available nationwide to non-higher education students.
Mantra Health plans to use the funding raised from its Series A round to grow its provider network nationwide, which the company said will include a significant number of clinicians who identify as LGBTQ+ as well as black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC).
Mantra Health also has other plans for the funding raised, such as enhancing its clinical infrastructure and quadrupling its team within the next year in a variety of roles.
“There is an urgent demand to remove the barriers that exist for young adults to access evidence-based and culturally competent mental health care,” Ed Gaussen, the co-founder and CEO of Mantra Health, said in the press release. “With this infusion of new capital, we will focus on removing these obstacles by handling more complex diagnoses, building a more robust provider network across 50 states, and doubling down on insurance partnerships.”
Additionally, Mantra Health announced that it is launching a new insurance referral program for students.
Under the program, Mantra Health will work with a student’s insurance as the payor of services instead of their school. The company added that the program is meant to cut down on wait times that a student might usually encounter when seeking mental health assistance from community providers. The program is already up and running as a pilot at an undisclosed higher education institution, which Mantra Health described as being one of the largest state schools in the country.
According to an internal study conducted by Mantra Health, 91% of students who are referred by campus counselors to the company make it to their first appointment. Mantra Health also claims that more than half of all student users credit the program for helping them to stay in school.
“With our program’s ROI proven, both in terms of enhanced life outcomes for young adults at colleges and universities in parallel to the economic case for our higher education customers, we couldn’t be more excited to accelerate Mantra’s ability to impact the lives of more young adults over the coming years,” Matt Kennedy, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Mantra Health, added in the press release