Solutions Roundtable – Mental Health

The Expert Discussions at the Impact Investing Action Conference on November 11, 2021 were the conclusion of a series of Roundtables held starting in August, 2021 to explore five major societal dilemmas. Together we explored the major issues relating to these topics and isolated concrete challenges and promising pathways to address them.  In the coming months we will be engaging with innovators and entrepreneurs to winnow through a wide range of possible solutions and determine those most deserving of our expert and investment support.


Mental Health RoundTables Summary:


Nearly 450 million people worldwide are currently living with a mental illness, yet nearly two thirds of people with known symptoms never seek treatment.  Mental and Behavioral Health issues must be treated as a disease, not as weakness or personal failure.  Our Pandemic experience brought additional attention to this important topic. We believe the most promising solutions to be those that address:


  1. Access – We need to remove barriers to accessing mental health care whether it be as a result of payer funding, equality issues or social stigmas.  From Telemedicine to awareness programs we need to address the idea of Mental wellness before it becomes a mental crisis.

  2. Practitioner support – There are simply not enough mental health practitioners to do it all. We support the enablement of existing practitioners to act in triage paired with social workers and other support systems to engage with mental health solutions via digital efficiency improvements and other innovation.

  3. Community engagement – Local and virtual communities represent both initial access points and ongoing support networks.  We need to create tools and policies which empower these groups to become healthy supportive environments.

Via our conversations and roundtables with a wide variety of experts we first identified some primary “problems”. The topic of “Mental Health” encompasses such a wide spectrum of individual issues as to make the categorization nearly meaningless.  We broached a number of topics from cognitive development and traumatic brain injury to issues of addiction and depression.  At this time we chose to place those indications related to physical damage or development aside (they are important and will be handled as a new topic) and address what we described as “societal or behavioral issues”.  The top problems:


  1. Addiction

  2. Depression

  3. Suicide

  4. Isolation

  5. Stigma

  6. Negative interaction with other conditions

Once the major problems were identified we selected some common challenges which persist across them.  By addressing causes and commonalities we isolated those which either generate the problems or deter effective treatment.  The primary challenges were found to be the lack of sufficient:


  1. Education – Practitioners, Patients, Society

  2. Funding – Equity, Payers, Prevention

  3. Staff – Psychiatrists, Therapists, GP’s, Social Workers

  4. Community – Isolation, Social Networks, 

  5. Focus (on preventive care or “wellness”) – Stigma, Monitoring, Support


Further discussion highlighted the three focus areas described above: access, practitioner support and community engagement.  On December 16th we will hold an additional Solution based roundtable which will bring together expert practitioners, entrepreneurs and patient advocates to further refine these pathways into action items which we will be using as criteria for a nationwide search for the most promising startups and programs deserving of our support.


After the solution roundtables we will also be providing policy papers with further detail into our process and will be holding investor roadshows for the most promising solutions.


If you would like to learn more about this important event SIGN UP HERE:


Recent Posts

In Memory of Charlie Emley, Jr.

Approximately 35 years ago I was visiting the home of my college buddy in Pasadena,…

Is The Venture Capital Party Over?

Mark Twain famously said “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Such is the…

Ai Juggernaut Palantir Enters Healthcare

Palantir is not exactly a household name, but the Peter Thiel founded company now based…