FIVE FROM FINLAND: Mental health and wellbeing

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Mental Health Solutions Finland

With mental health issues becoming more pressing than ever before amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Finnish innovators are extending a helping hand to those going through tough times.

Anyone can experience mental distress at some point in their life, irrespective of age, home country or social status. In fact, one in four people are affected by mental health problems, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns, social distancing and radical lifestyle changes have been a major source of stress and anxiety for millions of people around the globe, resulting in surging demand for mental healthcare and counselling. The pandemic, however, has disrupted or halted critical mental health services in many countries and escalated mental health issues globally.

Below are five Finnish companies on a mission to support mental health and wellbeing with their innovative solutions.

Meru Health

Meru Heath’s solution is delivered via an app with support from remote licensed therapists and psychiatrists.

Created by an experienced team of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs, Meru Health is a digital therapy platform that offers a clinically proven treatment programme for depression, anxiety and burnout with long-lasting effects. By providing people with efficient digital tools, Meru Health wants to solve the global issue of poor or no access to mental health services and make mental healthcare accessible to everyone in need of it.

“The Meru Health solution is based on three evidence-based therapies: cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness-based interventions, and behavioural activation, delivered via an app with support from remote licensed therapists and psychiatrists,” explained CEO Kristian Ranta.

Particularly active in the US market, Meru Health’s programme has seen a handful of deployments there. In 2017, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) looked to Meru Health as a solution to prevent burnout and depression among physicians. Earlier this year, Meru Health partnered with Mental Health Center of Denver and one of the US’s largest health insurance companies, Cigna.

Meru Health envisions it will empower 10 million people suffering from mental health challenges by 2027. The ambitious goal is backed with substantial funding. In May this year, the company raised 8.1 million US dollars (approx. 7.5 million euros) and was boosted by a 4.2 million-euro investment in 2019.

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