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Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an increased focus on mental health, especially among young people. 1 out of every 6 children age 6 to 17 experience a mental health disorder every year, and now a new investment company wants to use technology to make them easier to treat. Telosity by Vinaj Ventures is a fund set up back in 2019 specifically to invest in companies that provide tech-based solutions to improve mental well-being among young people, a demographic used to doing pretty much everything on their phones or computers. The founder and CEO, Anish Srivastava, says he was inspired to start the fund when he saw how few mental health resources were available, especially for kids and teens. “Accessibility is very difficult,” according to Srivastava, “and what tech does is it helps democratize access to care.”
And if Telosity is successful, in the near future, kids and teens might be meeting their mental health counselors in cyberspace, which the company wants to use as a jumping off point to meet young people in the space where they’re most comfortable. “We can use that as a place for resources,”, says Srivastava, “whether its educational types of capabilities, self learning mental health, being able to provide tele-therapy solutions, et cetera.”
And it’s not just scheduling apps and telemedicine; new advancements in virtual reality could make it much easier for doctors to examine – and also treat patients – in an online setting. Telosity has been seeing a growing market interest in augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), and much of it focuses on mental health assessment tools for providers. All that could make it even easier for kids and teens to access mental health resources, since they don’t even have to leave their homes in many cases.
It’s also good news for businesses. Telosity released a report last month showing youth mental health solutions will be a $26,000,000,000 market by 2027, and the company calls that an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to beef up their bottom line, while also providing help to millions of the most vulnerable Americans. Srivasta says that could be a major selling point for investors in the mental health space. “There’s an opportunity to do good while investing and building sustainable businesses, and I think that’s the driver for tech.”
You can find the full Telosity report at