Mantra Health founders Ed Gaussen and Matt Kennedy on VatorNews podcast

Kristin Karaoglu · January 11, 2021 · Short URL:

Mantra Health provides mental health services for college students

Bambi Francisco Roizen interviews Ed Gaussen and Matt Kennedy, founders of Mantra Health, a provider of virtual mental health services for college students.  

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Some takeaways:

- Mantra is focusing on the 20 million college students where prevalence of mental illness has doubled in the last decade. Anxiety is 34 percent, depression is 41 percent. CDC study showed that 25 percent of college students considered suicide. 

- Traditional systems are broken due to 1) lack of accessibility (shortage of providers) 2) No insurance reimbursement 3) lack of technology (enabling different modalities and self-care modules or asynchronous communication available outside in-person sessions and more frequent testing, using GAD7 and PHQ9).

- Mantra focuses primarily on the serious side of the mental health spectrum (depression, bipolar type 2). Currently, Mantra works has more than 20 providers, and works with five schools, including Penn State and small colleges such as Hamilton. Some 168,000 students are covered.  

- Mantra is paid out of University fees, which colleges collect as part of tuition.  

- The advent of social media has helped de-stigmatize the need for emotional support. More students are seeking out care out of curiosity or desire for mental resilience.

- Mantra Health is available to anyone over 18 yrs old in the following states: Pennsylvania, NY, NJ, Florida, Michigan.   

- In 2021, Mantra seeks to partner with 20-25 universities and have more than 1 million students able to access care. 


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Kristin Karaoglu

Woman of many skills: Database System Engineer; SplashX event producer; Author of Startup Teams

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