Mantra Health Announces Multi-State Insurance Network Contracts and Fifty State Expansion; Brings Total Funding to $5.2M

NEW YORK, April 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Mantra Health, a digital mental health clinic that partners with higher education institutions, today announced an extension of $2 million bringing its total funding to $5.2 million. The round includes new institutional investors Canaan Partners, City Light Capital, and Baleon Capital, as well as strategic angels, including Dr. Nitin Nanda, the founder of Aligned Telehealth, acquired by Amwell. Mantra will use the extension to continue to expand its network of psychiatric and therapy providers to all 50 states. Additionally, the company will continue to sign and support contracts with health insurance carriers across the country to increase access to evidence-based mental healthcare for the 20 million post-secondary students in America. This move will help increase payment options for colleges and universities, and increase continuity of care for students during seasonal breaks and after graduation. 

While a recent survey indicates 72% of college and university presidents have reallocated or identified additional funding to address mental health, more than half (58%) said if they had unlimited resources they would hire additional staff—mostly in the counseling center. Mantra Health uses telehealth technology to deliver evidence-based mental health treatment by integrating directly with on-campus counseling and health centers to help them expand their services and make seamless off-campus referrals that meet the specific needs of their student populations. This improves student outcomes by making it easier for schools to access high quality mental health providers that can work across traditional daytime hours, as well as evenings and weekends, aided by the flexibility of telehealth.

Mantra Health's program is currently deployed across 26 college campuses with more than 180,000 students enrolled. Historically, counseling centers have said only 40-50% of students make it to their first appointment when referred to a community provider, with an even lower percentage among rural schools. Through a mix of software and care navigation, Mantra has seen that referral success rate spike to 97% when referring students to a Mantra-affiliated provider. 

"Mantra Health has seen a dramatic increase in demand from colleges and universities for their telemental health services since the beginning of the public health and civil rights crises last year, which caused a surge in students experiencing depression and anxiety," said Byron Ling, Partner at Canaan. "We seek to invest in category-defining teams with ambitious visions and believe that Mantra Health is building the preeminent digital mental health solution for universities and colleges. Their collaborative, evidence-based approach to telemental health leverages technology to improve access and outcomes, while deeply integrating with university counseling teams for comprehensive care."  

With the increased demand and associated costs among school counseling centers, Mantra Health started accepting in-network insurance from UnitedHealthcare, Aetna and Cigna in January 2021. The latest capital infusion will help the company bring on additional health insurance carriers. By doing so, Mantra eases the financial burden that schools have been facing when providing behavioral health services to their students. Students also benefit by having the opportunity to remain in the same ecosystem of care whenever they leave campus for seasonal breaks or graduate and transition to post-college life, which can often be a vulnerable time for patients.  

"We're thrilled to welcome these new investors as we look to become the leading digital mental health player focused on Higher Education," said Ed Gaussen, co-founder & CEO of Mantra Health. "Covid has exacerbated the prevalence of mental health issues on college campuses, yet students aren't getting the care they need due to various structural issues. By launching our insurance partnership capabilities, we're taking a major step in our mission to democratize access to care for students across the country."

After bringing on Dr. Nora Feldpausch as Mantra Health's new Medical Director last month, the company is in the process of expanding services and obtaining licensure in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. in time for the Fall 2021 semester. 

According to Mantra Health's co-founder & COO, Matt Kennedy, "Offering 50 state coverage to our university partners through our collaborative clinical model will fundamentally change mental health delivery for university and college students. Our ability to deliver care across the country will improve access and enable continuity of care for the 20 million university students in America over summer and after they graduate. Furthermore, we are doing it entirely through our provider group under Dr. Feldpausch's leadership, keeping a tight control on clinical quality and continuing to build on our reputation as the most clinically-informed partner in our space."