By Brad Kittredge
We started Brightside in 2017 with a mission to provide easy access to high-quality anxiety and depression care from the comfort of home. It’s a deeply personal mission—we set out to deliver the care many of us wish our family members had when they needed it most. The United States has seen an alarming increase in depression and anxiety across all demographics, and those numbers have only gotten worse with COVID-19. Studies are reporting that depression symptoms have tripled since the pandemic began.
The reality is that our healthcare system isn’t set up to provide the quality of care people desperately need. Treatment often comes from generalists, therapy frequently transforms into open-ended talk, and medications aren’t prescribed using data. And while there’s been an influx of telemedicine offerings that are making mental health care more accessible online, their approach tends to focus on mild conditions or overall wellness, failing to meet the needs of people with complex and severe depression and anxiety.
Brightside has reimagined depression and anxiety care from the ground up, using technology, expert clinicians, and extensive data to ensure that everyone can get the highest quality care. Anxiety and depression are complex conditions, requiring personalized intervention over time to support better outcomes. Research has shown that evidence-based and data-driven care leads to the best results. That’s why we offer personalized treatment plans with medication delivered to your door, evidence-based therapy in your pocket, and the support of expert providers at every step. Results show that our approach works: over 85 percent of Brightside members experience a significant improvement and 70 percent achieve remission levels within just the first 12 weeks of treatment.
Over the past year, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in members turning to Brightside for anxiety and depression treatment. And today, we’re announcing that we’ve raised $24 million in Series A financing, led by ACME Ventures with participation from Triventures and existing investors, to help reach even more people who may otherwise not get the quality treatment they need.
We’re not just delivering the same old depression care online—we’re driven by making care more effective for every member, no matter how complex their condition. We believe everyone with anxiety and depression should consistently follow and apply evidence-based approaches in their treatment. We recently enhanced our therapy model to align with the Unified Protocol, a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy for people diagnosed with anxiety disorders, depression, and related emotional disorders.
The Unified Protocol was developed by David Barlow and a team of researchers at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University to help patients learn new ways to reduce their symptoms through mindfulness, cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. We’re humbled to share that David has joined Brightside as a clinical advisor to collaborate in delivering the most effective therapy for depression and anxiety anywhere.
We also are excited to welcome the expertise of Aike Ho, Principal at ACME Ventures, as she joins the Brightside board. Aike has been a leading investor in the digital health space, and she will help us grow and reach even more people who need help. We asked her to share more about what drew her to Brightside. “Telehealth has exploded over the past year, and consumers have more options than ever before. But Brightside’s unique approach, with evidence-based, data-driven, and personalized treatment plans, is setting a new standard in mental health care that I believe will transform how people get the help they need.”
As we look ahead post-pandemic, we’re optimistic about a return to normalcy. But as we saw before COVID-19, the need for accessible, high-quality mental health care will only grow. We’re committed to establishing a new standard for depression and anxiety treatment for the telemedicine age, and to helping everyone who needs it get the care they need to feel like themselves again.