Mental health issues have become a serious health issue in recent years. It’s no secret that mental health has been on the rise in recent years, particularly in the last few years. In spite of the fact that eating disorders were already the second most lethal mental illness behind opioid abuse prior to the pandemic, they surged in Covid. Eating disorders among adolescents, in particular, increased. According to Forbes, the phone line to the National Eating Disorder Association increased forty percent in the course of the pandemic after analyzing the admissions data from eighty hospitals. That increase in phone calls, in addition to their own experience, has inspired ARISE Co-Founders to get involved with the venture.

The San Francisco digital health startup raised four million dollars in seed funding last week to officially launch. Amanda Dombra and John Joe, the founders of their new company, which provides comprehensive virtual care for people with eating issues, worked in the digital health business beforehand. They both struggled with eating problems in the past and received treatment, which they want to make accessible to other people. They say that current eating disorder treatment is inadequate in addressing the issues. John believes that “it is not just about the food and the body,” but treatment should address the systemic issues that cause eating problems.

Instead of assigning responsibility to individuals, ARISE joins the ever-growing group of virtual mental health companies. EQUIP is one such company that focuses on eating disorders. It is a virtual mental health platform that has already raised $75 million. The patient is matched with a physician, a therapist, a dietitian, a peer mentor, and a family mentor in five-person teams. EQUIP is currently available in 40 states and has raised $70 million in investment capital. It is expected to expand to all 50 states. Although ARISE and EQUIP seek to simplify individuals’ lives, they will both have to deal with the reality that they are virtual healthcare companies.

​​Mental health start Cerebral is currently being investigated by the Federal trade Commission in connection with its advertising and marketing tactics. Virtual therapy services like BetterHelp are being scrutinized in Capitol Hill for potential privacy violations, as Mental Health start Cerebral provides a wide range of online therapy options. According to TechCrunch, digital health companies are sometimes subject to regulatory gray areas. Despite this, both EQUIP and ARISE are attempting to fill a crucial mental health niche.

What do you think of those digital health companies? Let us know down in the comments.