Regroup Therapy raises $1.8M to address nationwide mental healthcare provider shortage

May 10, 2016

Since 1949, May has been known across the country as Mental Health Month — an opportunity to raise awareness about mental illness and its impacts.

While much progress has been made toward destigmatizing mental illness, many challenges still remain for those who combat it on a daily basis. For instance, more than half of U.S. counties have no practicing therapists, counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists. Moreover, many densely populated counties — including Cook County — have severe shortages of behavioral health professionals.

Chicago startup

is working to address these shortages through a clever combination of telehealth and virtual staffing. For instance, if an urban hospital like Sinai Health System is having trouble finding a psychiatrist to work an afternoon shift, Regroup Therapy can connect them with an Evanston-based provider who can see patients via video chat when needed — likewise if a rural healthcare provider lacks the in-house expertise to care for patients in need of mental health services.

“A lot of [our customers] have been trying to staff these positions for a long time,” said founder and CEO David Cohn. “We’re filling this immediate need that entities have had for a long time, that they were aware of, and suddenly they have access to these providers that they needed.”

The company announced today it closed a $1.8 million seed round led by Hyde Park Angels and joined by OCA Ventures, Impact Engine, New Stack Ventures and Wasson Enterprise (led by Greg and Stewart Wasson — Walgreens’ former CEO and VP of Health Systems Solutions, respectively). The round also saw participation from Grubhub co-founder Mike Evans, MD Angels, Lon Chow and Mark Agnew.

The funding will be used to expand the company’s engineering and business development teams and expand its portfolio of partnerships, which currently includes Metropolitan Family Services and Sinai Health Group, among others. The company is also working to expand its base of providers, which currently consists of more than 2,000 licensed mental health professionals.

Regroup Therapy expects to have partnerships with over a dozen healthcare facilities by the end of this year — a significant step toward the startup's goal of helping treatment facilities in underserved communities across the country better meet the behavioral health needs of their constituencies.

Image via Regroup Therapy.

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