Mindpath Health Acquires College Mental Health Provider Acacia Counseling

Behavioral health provider Mindpath Health has acquired Acacia Counseling and Wellness, a telehealth and outpatient mental health provider specializing in serving college students, for an undisclosed amount.

Acacia Counseling and Wellness employs 170 providers at seven locations in California and one in Minneapolis, just off of the University of Minnesota campus, according to its website.

Mindpath Health is based in Sacramento, California, while Acacia Counseling is based in Goleta, California.


Drs. Keith Higginbotham, CEO, and Brett Donnelly, chief visionary officer, who co-founded Acacia Counseling in 2014, will join Mindpath Health “to help transform mental health care for college students,” according to a news release.

“We wanted to expand our services in order to serve university students nationally,” Higginbotham, said in the release. “Mindpath Health shares the same mission and long-term goals and we look forward to continuing our work with university students as part of the Mindpath Health team.”

Acacia Counseling provides traditional counseling and psychotherapy, and offers workshops, sessions with therapy animals and wellness activities, the release states.


“Research shows that up to three-quarters of college students have experienced heightened stress and anxiety the past two years and many have developed life-altering mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety as a result,” Mindpath Health CEO Christopher Brengard said in the release. “Our acquisition of Acacia Counseling and Wellness will increase access to affordable, quality mental health care for college communities nationwide to help transform their world through better overall health and wellness.”

MindPath Health CEO Christopher Brengard (Photo courtesy of MindPath Health)
MindPath Health CEO Christopher Brengard

Brengard cited survey data that found that most college students (85%) experienced heightened stress and anxiety during the pandemic but are also increasingly likely to seek support through telehealth services.

This deal comes after chatter about a potential high-profile deal that apparently didn’t come to fruition.

On May 26, news broke that Mindpath Health sought to acquire the beleaguered virtual therapy company Talkspace Inc. (Nasdaq: TALK) but that deal never came together. Talkspace declined to comment on the matter and a representative of Mindpath said they were not aware of any deal.

The potential Talkspace acquisition was not out of the realm of possibility. Mindpath Health already provides a large portion of its service via telehealth — about 80%, one Mindpath executive told Behavioral Health Business in April.

The company is also in acquisition mode: As of April, the company had about a dozen new offices it was preparing to open. Brengard told BHB in December that the company would open 60 and 75 de novos by the end of 2022.

Mindpath Health was previously known as Community Psychiatry. It became Mindpath health after the private equity firm owners — Centerbridge Partners and Leonard Green & Partners — acquired Durham, North Carolina-based Mindpath Care Centers from the private equity firm New Harbor Capital in May 2021.

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