Joyable Offers Online Therapy To People Suffering From Social Anxiety
There are many startups out there which are offering health-related services. And after the advent of wearable tech, it is now possible to collect data about individual’s health including pulse rate, blood pressure, and much more. Moreover, Apple Watch is to arrive in April so we expect that there will be many more startups looking to get the share out of this market by providing physical health-related services.
But a new startup Joyable is different because it is focused on mental health. Mental health is as important as physical health as it drives the behavior of the people. To know what issue is the company looking to solve, we need to understand what “social anxiety” is.
In simpler words, social anxiety is the fear of being judged by other people. For example, a mother may not want to drop her kids to schools because she is worried about the judgement of other parents. 15 million Americans suffer from social anxiety and 85 percent of them are not able get proper treatment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
So Joyable looks to provide online therapies to people suffering from social anxiety. CEO Peter Shalek and its co-founder Steve Marks told TechCrunch that they have been close to people suffering from this state of mind. They aim to make the treatment more accessible, at a fraction of the cost of seeing a therapist in-person.
Shalek also said that they are not inventing anything new as the therapies procedures have already been developed by the people involved in that discipline. These therapies are actually used in practice in real world. With Joyable, the company is just offering these therapies online.
To make it possible, Joyable hired doctors and practitioners who knew the science behind social anxiety and its therapies, including Dr. Richard Heimberg who is a professor of psychology at Temple University and director of the university’s Adult Anxiety Clinic. Other advisors include Drs. Lisa McTeague and Lanny Berman.
The company connects customers with a coach who talks with them over phone, text, or emails. The coach ensures that they are on-track, listens to their problems, and is a part of therapy process. These people have a background in coaching and are broadly described as “people who are empathetic and are good listeners.” They are trained by Joyable.
The company is currently offering its service over the web only, and plans to introduce native apps in the future. The program costs $99 a month, which is a fraction of what therapists cost in clinics.
The company has been launched today and has raised a seed round of $2.05 million.