The tech community thrives on the bright minds and hard work of people dedicated to creating lasting change in their industries and throughout the world. But with the thrill and reward of working at a startup also come long hours, aggressive goals, near-constant change and a pervasive fear of failure. They are challenges faced by many but spoken about by few — at least until recently.
As the conversation around mental health continues to push its way into the mainstream, many companies are working to create cultures that better support self-care and mental health in the workplace, and unsurprisingly, it’s the products of tech startups that are helping them do it.
In recognition of World Mental Health Day, we took a look at the tech companies — right here in Colorado — that are making mental health a priority, in the tech world and beyond.
What they do: MyStrength helps individuals take control of their personal wellness by providing healthy and effective ways to cope with mental health challenges. The company partners with healthcare providers to bring evidence-based, clinically reviewed mental and behavioral health resources to their covered members. Its digital platform addresses things like depression, stress, anxiety, substance abuse, chronic pain, sleeplessness and other behavioral health challenges through education, support and user tracking.
What they do: SonderMind set out to make mental health care more accessible by connecting people with local therapists that meet their unique needs — which, for many people seeking professional help, is half the battle. Their app looks at factors like whether or not a therapist accepts insurance, which insurance providers they accept, where therapists are located in relation to patients, their treatment styles and specialities, and even what languages they speak. SonderMind then matches patients — based on their own mental health history and goals — with a local therapist who can give them the personalized care and attention they need.
What they do: Mindfulness and meditation can be powerful tools for managing stress and anxiety, but most people lack the confidence or knowledge to meditate on their own. Meditation Studio’s mobile app delivers meditation courses and collections led by mindfulness experts, Zen monks and yoga instructors from a wide range of traditions and meditation styles — as well as tools for unguided meditation like interval timers, ambient sounds and music. Since its launch, the app has been recognized by Apple, Time Magazine and Forbes in their lists of best apps.
What they do: Created by Techstars alumnus Sigmend, OPEN Labs is a think tank for brain disorder support and solutions, particularly within the tech community. The company has partnered with HealthLinks to build a first-of-its-kind behavioral health workplace assessment, provides community outlets for storytelling and sharing in hopes of normalizing conversations around neurodiversity, and hosts biannual Open Weekend events that bring together tech professionals, businesses and community leaders committed to creating a place where people with brain conditions can live, work and thrive.
What they do: The role of startup founder is one often glamorized and revered by the local community, but rarely do we hear, or talk about, the mental health challenges that can come with it. Impact Founder hopes to shed light on these untold stories, “debunking the myth that entrepreneurship is easy or sexy” through its social impact media platform, which features multimedia storytelling and access to leadership coaching and mental health resources.
Location: Greenwood Village
What they do: BASE Education delivers social-emotional learning software for students and young adults in schools and mental health systems. The technology aims to help students better understand the impact their thoughts and feelings have — both on themselves and the world around them — while enabling educators and counselors to prevent and identify risky situations and intervene early.