On Thursday, Seattle-based Joon Care announced that it raised $3.5 million in a financing round led by Route 66 Ventures.
Joon has created an online and mobile app-based platform that connects teens and young adults to licensed therapists.
Anyone who’s been a teenager can tell you one thing: It wasn’t easy. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about half of all teenagers struggle with depression, anxiety or some other mental-health issue. Unfortunately, suicide is pervasive too, with suicide being the second leading cause of death from ages 10 to 34.
In many cases, therapy is the best solution to address these concerns. Yet, so many teenagers don’t get therapy due to the multiple barriers standing in their way, whether that’s availability, cost or stigma.
Joon works hard to remove those barriers. By focusing on teletherapy — or remote therapy sessions through video calls — Joon is able to provide access to therapy to more people. To make its services more affordable, the company offers a free consultation, and then makes its first session fully refundable if it isn’t a fit. The company also works with each of its clients to create a personalized roadmap that details expenses.
Joon spun out of startup studio Pioneer Square Labs earlier this year, and in more than one way, the company is a perfect response to 2020. The country’s collective mental health has been thrown through the wringer this year. On top of that, we’ve all had to learn how to live our lives virtually. But teens have had it especially rough as they’ve had to navigate online schooling and strained social relationships. That’s why Joon thinks its mission is critical.
“Joon’s mission is to make high-quality mental healthcare accessible to teens and young adults everywhere,” co-founder and CEO Josh Herst said in a statement. “Unfortunately, as a result of COVID-19, over 70 percent of teens and young adults are now reporting clinically significant levels of anxiety, depression and loneliness. The need for available mental healthcare has never been greater.”
Joon co-founder and chief psychologist Dr. Amy Mezulis added: “Our clients get the best parts of traditional therapy — live sessions with a qualified therapist — but on their terms, using the digital mediums they’re most familiar with, and with tools to help them build skills and make change in their lives. Most importantly, it’s working.”
Joon will use this new funding to expand its reach. The company is currently licensed to work with clients in Washington, California and Oregon, but it plans to expand to more states in 2021.