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Startups are using AI and virtual reality to fight mental illness

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Mental health professionals and entrepreneurs have a message for those suffering from anxiety and depression: You are not alone.

That message seems especially relevant in 2018. The sudden deaths of Kate Spade, the fashion designer and entrepreneurial icon, and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain this week shine a light on a systemic problem: Mental illness. Both Spade and Bourdain are reported to have taken their own lives, with the former having struggled with depression for a long period of time, according to her husband, Andy Spade. They were 55 and 61, respectively.

Indeed, roughly 18 percent of American adults suffer from some form of mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and yet only a fraction of those access the treatment that they need or could benefit from. That’s a problem that a growing number of technology companies want to tackle.

To be sure, the best pathway to treatment is consulting a licensed professional. In the absence of a therapist–or in a pinch–here are seven tech startups that want to help those suffering from anxiety, depression, or other forms of mental illness. Read more.

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