DotCom, Goodside team up on pediatric mental health tool for schools

Pediatric teletherapy company DotCom Therapy is partnering with in-school telehealth provider Goodside Health to increase kids’ access to mental healthcare in schools.

The collaboration will allow DotCom therapists to work with Goodside patients who receive elevated marks on depression and anxiety screenings.

“We are excited to continue to collaborate with DotCom Therapy and help close an important gap in whole-child health and wellness within the education system,” Tracy Spinner, executive director of Goodside Health, said in a statement.

“With more than half of districts reporting a rise in mental health referrals, educators and students need additional support and resources now. DotCom Therapy’s quality assurance program and ongoing clinical oversight helps address a critical need.”

WHY IT MATTERS

Mental and behavioral healthcare has been front of mind during the COVID-19 pandemic, and children and teens are being affected along with their parents. 

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation brief published in May, more than 25% of high school students reported worse emotional or cognitive health during the pandemic, while more than 20% of parents of children ages five to 12 said their kids experienced poorer mental health.

That same month, Children’s Hospital Colorado declared a “state of emergency” in youth mental health, saying pediatric emergency rooms and inpatient units were filled with kids in crisis.

Schools are often the first point of care for children and teens experiencing mental illness. According to a February 2020 report by the EAB, 75% of children who received mental healthcare got that care in schools, and youths are 21 times more likely to visit a school clinic for mental health needs than a community-based clinic. 

“The pandemic has heightened and spotlighted this rising mental health crisis as well as the lack of resources available in our education system,” Rachel Mack Robinson, founder and president of DotCom Therapy, said in a statement.

“Goodside Health’s technology is built by school technicians for school clinicians. Its technology matched with DotCom Therapy’s network of board-certified pediatric teletherapy providers offers a solution to the ongoing shortages. Together, we provide increased access for students to address their mental health concerns with pediatric mental health resources from qualified professionals around the country. The best part is, we can accomplish all of this at little to no cost to the school district.”

THE LARGER TREND

Digital health investment has accelerated this year, and mental health is the focus for clinical investments, bringing in $1.5 billion in the first half of 2021, according to a report from Rock Health.

Although telehealth utilization has declined from its pandemic high, mental health conditions dominated the diagnoses received via telehealth in June, according to FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker

Earlier this month, DotCom announced it had raised $13 million in Series A funding. Other companies in the pediatric mental and behavioral healthcare space include Brightline and Enable My Child

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